Tall Fescue - Schedonorus arundinaceus

    Alternative names
    Festuca arundinacea

    A tall (60 to 200 cm) grass. It is erect, hairless, stout stemmed and densely tufted. The leaves are stiff, broad (to 10 mm) with rough edges. The stem base is clothed with tough, whitish sheaths. The auricles are large and hairy at first, though the hairs soon wear away. The shorter branch at each whorl of the inflorescence often bears 4 spikelets (S. pratensis only has 1 or 2). Lemmas are strongly veined, with sharp pointed or shortly awned tips.

    Identification difficulty

    Banks of rivers and streams, damp meadows, damp or shaded roadside verges.

    When to see it

    Flowers June to August.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly frequent though sometimes local in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 272 of the 617 tetrads.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map