Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) is a perennial grass adapted to a wide range of growing conditions. In Australia tall fescue is principally found from southern Queensland through the tablelands and upper slopes of New South Wales and Victoria to areas of Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia. Tall fescue is deep rooted and in some plants has short slowly spreading rhizomes. The leaf blades are dark green, 4–12 mm wide and 100–600 mm long. The upper leaf surface is dull with distinct veins running the length of the leaf. The lower leaf surface is smooth glossy and slightly keeled with the leaf edges rough to touch. The seed head is a loosely branching panicle. The more traditional varieties (temperate varieties) of tall fescue used in NSW (Demeter and Au Triumph) grow in spring, summer and autumn and are suited to high rainfall temperate climates. In contrast Mediterranean varieties of tall fescue grow well in winter but are summer dormant and are better suited to winter rainfall regions.

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