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The genus is closely related to ryegrass (Lolium), and recent evidence from phylogenetic studies using DNA sequencing of plant mitochondrial DNA shows that the genus lacks monophyly. As a result, plant taxonomists have moved several species, including the forage grasses tall fescue and meadow fescue, from the genus Festuca into the genus Lolium,With over 100,000 words, Wikipedia’s definition of fescue is a daunting task for the casual browser. In these two words, you will read about clovers, cocks, fauns, and joints. How does one begin to understand what makes fescues? In much the same way one should be able to take off their shoes and step into the dirt with a sense of wonder.
The word Festuca first appears to describe grasses in Dodoens' "Stirpium historiae pemptades sex, sive libri XXX" in 1583. However, the plant Dodoens described as Festuca altera is truly Bromus secalinus. Other authors before Linnaeus used the name to describe other various species of Bromus. In the first edition of "Genera Plantarum", Linnaeus describes seven species of Festuca, five of which are truly Bromus grasses with the other two being Festuca gigantea and Festuca pratensis. In 1753 the genus is accepted as first being formally described, in Linnaeus' "Species Plantarum". Eleven species were described, with F. ovina being the type species. Of these eleven, one species was Danthonia, one Poa, and one Koeleria.
The first major monograph on the genus was Hackel's "Monographia Festucarum Europaearum" in 1882. Since Linnaeus' publications, seven genera have been proposed for groups of perennial fescues and fifteen for annual fescues, all with varying degrees of acceptance.Tall fescue is a low-maintenance grass with a signature bunch-forming growth pattern that rarely requires dethatching. Fescue’s deep roots are efficient in drawing nutrients out of your soil, and as a result, the grass typically requires less fertilizer than other cool-season grasses. To learn more about fescue grass’ characteristics, growing patterns, and care, read our guide to decide if it’s right for your yard. (Source: www.thisoldhouse.com)