Tall fescue

Casey Reynolds, PhD


Latin Name: Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.) Dumort

Tall fescue Areas of Adaptation
Tall fescue Areas of Adaptation

Growth Habit: Bunch-type

Vernation: Rolled

Leaf: Broad, flat; Ridges on upper surface and smooth on lower surface; Prominent midrib on lower surface

Ligule: Membranous, truncate

Auricles: Short, blunt, pubescent

Inflorescence: Panicle

Description: Tall fescue is a coarse-textured, cool-season turfgrass with dark green color and a bunch-type growth habit. Relative to other cool-season grasses, its superior heat and drought tolerance make it adapted for use in north Texas where warm-season grasses may struggle with winter injury. Like other cool-season species, it also performs well in shade and is used as a component of cool-season seed mixtures with Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and/or annual ryegrass. However, like all cool-season grasses its lack of heat and drought tolerance do not make it a widely planted turfgrass in Texas.

Strengths: Shade tolerance, cold tolerance, dark color, and rapid establishment

Weaknesses: Poor heat and drought tolerance, disease incidence

Recommended Mowing Height: 2.5 to 4 inches

Recommended Mowing Frequency: Weekly using a rotary mower

Fertilization Requirements: 2 to 4 lbs N per 1,000 ft2 per year. Single application rates should range from 0.5 to 1 lb of N per 1,000 ft2 applied during the spring and fall growing season.

TF-Ligule3 TF-vernationTF-Ligule


Tall fescue Varieties Available in Texas
Variety Latin Name Availability
Many available Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.) Dumort Seed/Sod