(fess-tue' kah)

Common name: Blue Fescue

Family: Poaceae, Grass

Height x width: 6-10" x 8" clump; gigantea and californica 3-6' x 2-3'

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: very fine and thin, evergreen, varying degrees of blue with cultivar; some with thick leaves or green; forming tufts or clumps

Flowers: terminal, slender panicles

Hardiness: zones 4-8 (tolerate heat and humidty)

Soil: well-drained, will tolerate dry and infertile; viviparia prefers moist as at watersides

Light: sun; gigantea will tolerate part shade

Pests and Problems: rots from too wet soil

Landscape habit, uses: borders, most effective massed, edges to beds and walks, salt tolerant

Other interest: native to Europe; from the Latin festuca for stalk or stem; related to arid fescue cultivars of elatior and lawn fescues of rubra

Other culture: often clumps tend to die out in part or become lop-sided; correct by dividing off dead part and replanting living

Propagation: spring division or seed


Those marked * in the tables below are most common in U.S. commerce.
Species height foliage other
amethystina 12" variable with cultivars  
cinerea 12" bluish often confused with glauca
filiformis 6" green, thin groundcover, Fine-leaved F.
gautieri 4" green groundcover, Bear Skin F.
gigantea 3-6' blue, wide massive, Giant Fescue
*glauca 8" blue, green Blue Fescue, most ornamental
mairei 2' bright green Maires Fescue
*ovina 20" green Sheep's Fescue
valesiaca 4-18" green  


Cultivar species height foliage
'Aprilgrun' ('April Green') amethystina 8" olive green
'Azurit' glauca 1' silver blue
'Blaufink' ('Blue Finch') glauca 10" soft blue
*'Blaufuchs' ('Blue Fox') glauca 1' blue
'Blauglut' ('Blue Glow') glauca 10" electric blue
'Blausilber' ('Blue Silver') glauca 8" blue, bristly
'Bronzglanz' ('Bronze Luster') amethystina 1' bronze tinted
'Daeumling' ('Tom Thumb') glauca 4" blue
*'Elijah Blue' glauca 8" blue, popular
'Fruehlingsblau' ('Spring Blue') glauca 6" light blue
'Harz' glauca 10" olive green
'Klose' amethystina 8" olive green
'Meerblau' ('Sea Blue') glauca 8" blue-green, vigorous
'Palatinat' glauca 8" powder blue
'Pic Carlit' gautieri 2-3" green
*'Seeigel' ('Sea Urchin') glauca 8" blue-green
'Silberreiher' ('Silver Egret') glauca 6" silvery blue
'Silver Lining' glauca 8" silvery steel blue
'Soehrewald' glauca 8" bluish olive green
'Solling' glauca 8" light blue, no flowers
'Superba' amethystina 10" best blue, amethyst scape

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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