Family: Poaceae
Common Name: Fescue

Originally from temperate Europe and Asia and tropical highlands, these hardy grasses have fine, wiry leaves. Hard-wearing and frost-resis­tant, they are ideal for cooler, temperate lawns and are often included in 'lawn seed' mixtures or mixed with bent grass. Some species are tuft­ing ornamentals.


F. glauca, blue fescue, with grayish blue leaves, is a thickly tufting dwarf useful for planting in rockeries. Clumps can grow 25 cm (10 in) wide and to 30 cm (12 in) tall in suitable conditions. Spikes of blue-green flowers appear in early to midsummer. Strong-coloured cultivars include 'Blue Fox' and 'Sea Urchin'.

F. rubra, red fescue, is a perennial and a parent of the fescue most commonly used for lawns in the US. It has clusters of dark green, almost blueish leaves. Subspecies rubra, with russet-coloured foliage, grows to 45 cm (18 in) and is sometimes used in ribbon borders. Subspecies comm­utata, chewings fescue, has needle-shaped leaves and is quite often used in lawn mixes.


For care of lawn species of Festuca, see the section on lawns. Blue fescue is a popu­lar, tufting plant used in borders and rockeries. It needs full sun, well-drained soil Clip it back after flowering or when it is untidy. Clumps can be divided and divisions replanted at once.


Zone 5.

Ferraria      Ficus