PRAIRIEFORM

Everyday excursions in the urban landscape

Wantonly Weedy Wednesday

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Festuca arundinacea was originally brought to the US as a pasture grass but has since spread throughout much of the US and is now considered a noxious weed in coastal California.
Festuca arundinacea / tall fescue

The perennial grass Festuca arundinacea / tall fescue was first spotted in the US in seed catalogs circa 1870. It was thought to be a viable option for a forage grass, and so it began to be used for grazing. So happy was the grass in its new environs that it started to spread throughout the US and now can be found in every state except Indiana and North Dakota. Its native habitat is damp grasslands, river banks, and coastal seashore locations in Europe and east into Siberia. It seems to have grown particularly fond of California, as it is now considered a noxious weed in the coastal portions of the state. The grass was found growing in the Vacant Lands Broakland Study Area within an unirrigated, eight-food-wide median on Adeline Street in South Berkeley.

John Kamp

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