Bear-skin Fescue

(Festuca gautieri)

Bear-skin fescue

Image: bear-skin fescue

Status of bear-skin fescue in Tasmania

  • Bear-skin fescue is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of bear-skin fescue are prohibited in Tasmania.
  • The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with bear-skin fescue are laid out in the bear-skin fescue Statutory Weed Management Plan.

What does bear-skin fescue look like?

  • Bear-skin fescue is a showy, perennial (long-lived), tussock-forming grass that grows in a pin-cushion-like form to around 25 cm height. The leaves are needle-like and sharp, bright green to bluish-grey in colour, and around 5 to 15 cm long. The flowering stems are 20 to 50 cm long and bear the flowers on a 4.5 to 7 cm long seed head (or panicle). Each panicle bears a few flowers (spikelets) that are 9 to 11 mm long.
  • Bear-skin fescue flowers in summer. Spread is by seed and by vegetative means. Older plants spread outward while dying off in the centre of the tussock. Bear-skin fescue is used as a garden and ornamental bonsai plant and can be spread as part of the ornamental plant trade.

Impacts of bear-skin fescue

  • Bear-skin fescue is a potential weed of grazing areas.

Where does bear-skin fescue occur

  • Bear-skin fescue is a native to south-western France and north-eastern Spain. Bear-skin fescue is a weed of grazing land in Britain and the United States of America.
  • Bear-skin fescue has not naturalised anywhere in Australia.

What you need to do

  • If you locate bear-skin fescue anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be bear-skin fescue, immediately contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 to report this weed.

See also
Bear-skin Fescue Weed Management Plan
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
Pest Genie

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