Festuca arundinacea

Festuca arundinacea_tall fescue_ JM Di Tomaso
Photo: 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?

CDFA Rating: None?


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.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

There are no newsletter articles associated with this species yet.

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Festuca arundinacea Information

  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Festuca arundinacea_inflorescence_ZoyaAkulova
    Festuca arundinacea (reed fescue) inflorescence. Photo: Zoya Akulova
    Festuca arundinacea_spikelets_ZoyaAkulova
    Festuca arundinacea (reed fescue) spikelets. Photo: Zoya Akulova
    Festuca arundinacea_stem nodes_ZoyaAkulova
    Festuca arundinacea (reed fescue) stem nodes. Photo: Zoya Akulova
    Festuca arundinacea_leaf blade and sheath_KeirMorse
    Festuca arundinacea (reed fescue) leaf blade and sheath. Photo: Keir Morse
    Festuca arundinacea_growth habit_KeirMorse
    Festuca arundinacea (reed fescue) growth habit. Photo: Keir Morse