Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea)
- Family: Grass (Poaceae)
- Flowering: April-July.
- Field Marks: Fescues are distinguished from other grasses by their many-flowered spikelets and their usually awnless lemmas minutely 2-toothed at the tip. Tall fescue has 3-5 flowers per spikelet.
- Habitat: Roadsides, fields, disturbed areas.
- Habit: Perennial grass in tufts, with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Erect, unbranched, smooth, up to 5 feet tall.
- Leaves: Elongated, narrow, slightly rough to the touch, up to 1/2 inch broad.
- Flowers: 3-5 in a spikelet; each spikelet up to 2/3 inch long, borne in panicles.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Lemmas: Pointed and minutely 2-toothed at the tip, usually smooth, up to 1/3 inch long, usually without an awn.
- Stamens: Usually 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Grains: Oblong, reddish, about 1/8 inch long.
- Notes: This is an abundant grass often planted for forage and for soil stabilization.
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