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Pest Information

Tall Fescue

Tall Fescue

  • Latin Name: Festuca Arundinacea
  • Common Name: Tall Fescue
  • Other Names: Alata fescue, reed fescue, coarse fescue

Pest Details

Tall Fescue
Tall Fescue
Tall Fescue

Origin:

Introduced from Europe, and now widely distributed throughout the United States.

Biology:

A perennial that forms large, spreading clumps. Introduced for use as both turfgrass and forage, but has escaped from cultivation. Reproduction is from seed, but tillering and spreading the roots can also spread the plants. Leaves of Tall fescue are broader and grow much more rapidly than the desirable turf it has invaded, giving an uneven, clumpy appearance to the lawn. Some varieties may be toxic to livestock.

Identification:

Leaf blades grow from the base of the plant, at a 45 degree angle outward. If left unmowed the plant can grow to 5 feet tall, with leaf blades up to 24 inches long. They are dark green and may have hairs on the upper surface near the base, along with rough margins. Roots are fibrous and without rhizomes. The flower heads are produced from early to midsummer, and are usually a fairly open arrangement of 3 to 5 long branches at the bottom and many short branches in the upper third. Individual spikelets contain from 3 to 8 seeds, and awns may or may not be present.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Regular mowing may not remove all the seedheads, as they adapt to lay flat along the soil or turf surface. This is a perennial grass that reproduces only by seed.

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