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Reed Fescue

REED FESCUE (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.)

Reed Fescue is practically unknown in Canada. It sometimes goes under the name of Tall Fescue and is often regarded as a variety of Meadow Fescue. It is, however, a well separated botanical species and the name Tall Fescue should never be used for this grass as it leads to confusion.

Botanical description:

Reed Fescue is a tall grass, reaching a height of four feet or more, with an abundance of broad and long leaves. It looks like Meadow Fescue but is much coarser; the stems soon become rather woody and the leaves get hard and stiff. After flowering it is easily distinguished from Meadow Fescue by its large panicle with spreading branches.

Geographical distribution:

Reed Fescue occurs in Europe almost to the polar circle, in northern Africa and in western Asia.

Cultural conditions:

It is common along seashores and loves wet ground more than does Meadow Fescue. It can therefore be grown in wet places where the latter would certainly fail.

Agricultural value:

Its feeding value is inferior to that of Meadow Fescue and cattle generally refuse to pasture on it if other grasses are available.