E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.) Dumort., nom. cons.
tall fescue
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Percy Folkard  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #32575)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Schedonorus arundinaceus
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted grass, sometimes from short rhizomes, otherwise from fibrous roots; stems erect, 90-150 (200) cm tall.
Sheaths smooth; blades in-rolled in young shoots, 4-12 mm wide; ear-shaped lobes at the leaf-bases sickle-shaped, slightly wavy or obscure, sparsely fringed with fine hairs on the margins; ligules 0.5-1.5 mm long, membranous.
Inflorescence an open or stiffly erect, simple panicle, 10-35 cm long; spikelets 3- to 6- (9-) flowered, stalked, 8-15.5 mm long, each with 2 glumes; lower glumes 3-6 mm long, upper glumes 4.5-7 (9) mm long; lemmas (4) 5-9 (11.5) mm long, rough short-hairy or short bristlelike at least near the tips (rarely smooth), sometimes unawned, or if awned, the awns 0.3-2 (4) mm long, terminal or attached up to 0.4 mm below the tips; anthers 2.5-4 mm long.
An important crop grown for seed production (primarily in the Peace River District), forage, soil stabilization, and coarse turf, it is increasingly planted in various habitats and becoming broadly adventive.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to wet seepages, pastures, fields, meadows, roadsides and disturbed areas in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; infrequent in SW BC, rare eastward in S BC; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Schedonorus arundinaceus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 5 5 5
Slope Gradient (%) 0 1 2
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 4 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CWH(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Festuca arundinacea Schreb.
Festuca elatior
Festuca elatior subsp. arundinacea (Schreb.) Hack.
Festuca elatior var. arundinacea (Schreb.) Wimm.
Festuca fenas Lag.
Festuca uechtritziana Wiesb.
Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) S.J. Darbyshire

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References