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habit with young seed-heads (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
habit with mature seed-heads (Photo: Trevor James)
stems and leaves (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
close-up of base of stems and roots (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
close-up of stem and base of leaf blade (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
immature and mature seed-heads (Photo: Forest and Kim Starr, USGS)
close-up of flower spikelets (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
close-up of seeds (Photo: Steve Hurst at USDA PLANTS Database)
Festuca arundinacea Schreb.
Festuca elatior L.Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh.Poa phoenix Scop.Schedonorus phoenix (Scop.) Holub.
Gramineae (South Australia)Poaceae (Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory)
alata fescue, coarse fescue, New Zealand tall fescue, reed fescue, tall fescue, tall meadow fescue
Native to northern Africa (i.e. northern Algeria, northern Libya, Morocco and Tunisia), the Azores, all of Europe, western Asia and Pakistan.
Widely naturalised in the temperate regions of southern Australia (i.e. in eastern New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, many parts of South Australia and south-western Western Australia). Also occasionally naturalised in the southern parts of the Northern Territory.
Widely naturalised overseas in southern Africa, New Zealand, USA and Canada.
Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) was introduced as a pasture grass, and some cultivars are still widely grown in Australia today. However, it has spread from cultivation and is regarded as a significant environmental weed in Victoria and as an environmental weed in the wider Sydney and Blue Mountains region in New South Wales.
In Victoria it is thought to pose a serious threat to one or more vegetation formations. For example, it is listed as a high threat invasive weed in plains swampy woodland in the Glenelg Plain and Wimmera bioregions. It is also present on several local and regional environmental weed lists in this state (e.g. in Knox Shire, Banyule Shire and the Goulburn Broken Catchment).
In Western Australia it is established on road verges and in disturbed sites from Pemberton to Denmark, and also in Perth, but is regarded as a low priority environmental weed. In South Australia tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is commonly found in disturbed areas near pastures, but is also becoming a weed of wetter habitats. It is also established in several conservation areas in South Australia (i.e. Cudlee Creek Conservation Park, Cobbler Creek Recreation Park and Sturt Gorge Recreation Park).