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Dallisgrass plants form loose bunches that grow from 1 to 5 feet (about 1.5 m) tall. Plants grow from prostrate with erect tips to totally erect. The leaf sheath is somewhat flattened and its base is hairy, often tinged red, and usually inflated. The underground stems are fairly short and have areas that appear as concentric rings. Dallisgrass can be distinguished from tall fescue, Festuca arundinacea, which forms clumps rather than loose bunches. Also similar in appearance is knotgrass, Paspalum distichum, which does not have the flattened stems and hairless stem joints (nodes) of dallisgrass; rather, it has rounded stems and hairy nodes. In mowed sites, such as lawns and recreational fields, if may be confused with crabgrass but crabgrass leaves are soft whereas dallisgrass leaves are stiffer.