Tall fescue does produce short rhizomes but has a bunch-type growth habit – it spreads primarily by erect tillers. Individual tillers, or stems, terminate in an inflorescence, reach 3 to 4 feet in height, and have broad, dark green basal leaves.
Leaf blades are glossy on the underside and serrated on the margins. The leaf sheath is smooth and the ligule is a short membrane.
The grass flowers in the spring and seed mature in early summer. The seeds are 4 to 7 mm long, elliptic and awned.