Festuca arundinacea

Festuca arundinacea_tall fescue_ JM Di Tomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Bromus arundinaceus, Festuca elatior ssp. arundinacea, F. elatior var. arundinacea, Lolium arundinaceum

Common names: reed fescue; alta fescue; coarse fescue; rescue; reed fescue; tall fescue; Kentucky fescue

Festuca arundinacea (tall fescue) is a perennial grass with coarse foliage (family Poaceae) found throughout California except in the Great Basin and deserts. It favors sites with heavy soil, including grassland, coastal scrub, roadsides, ditches and other disturbed sites. Tall fescue is commonly planted for turf and hay or erosion control, but it has escaped cultivation and invaded wild areas. After tall fescue plants die, their leaves fall to the ground and create a thick thatch which prevents native plant seeds from germinating.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Assessment

Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

  • Thomas, D. (2009). Active and passive restoration of fountain thistle habitat following jubatagrass removal. Cal-IPC Symposium 2009. Visalia, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Antonio, C. D. and J. Gerlach (2003). Annual grasses: Status of biology and control. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2003. Kings Beach, CA.
  • Clines, J., J. DiTomaso, et al. (2004). Grasses working group. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, California, CA.
  • Corbin, J. D., M. Thomsen, et al. (2004). Out of the frying pan: Invasion of exotic perennial grasses in coastal prairies. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Thomsen, C. D., W. A. Williams, et al. (1996). Yellow starthistle management with grazing, mowing, and competitive plantings. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '96. San Diego, CA.

Other Festuca arundinacea Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • CalFlora - Distribution information based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution information with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.