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FESTUCA cinerea

Image of Festuca cinerea

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

FESTUCA cinerea

Plant Common Name

Blue Fescue

General Description

Forming low bristling domes of showy evergreen foliage, this clumping, cool-season grass hails from Europe. It slowly forms a rounded hummock of somewhat stiff, fine-textured leaves that are usually blue- or gray-green, with some forms approaching silver. Their texture contrasts beautifully with that of coarse leaves and large stones. In midsummer this little blue fescue bears plumy clusters of fine beige to gray, purple-tinted flowers on erect stems. They create a soft and breezy look. Some gardeners remove the developing flower stems to retain the plant's uniform, symmetrical shape and to prevent self-sowing. Many selections of different size and leaf color area available.

Fescues accept full to part sun and many soil types, but most prefer average, slightly acidic soil with good drainage. Ornamental species such as this can be used in sunny borders, containers or rock gardens and look best when planted in masses. Cut back the foliage in early spring to encourage a fresh crop of colorful leaves to form.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Tan

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Blue, Blue Green, Gray Green, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Blue, Blue Green, Gray Green, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Blue, Blue Green, Gray Green, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Blue, Blue Green, Gray Green, Silver

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Groundcover, Lawns and Turf, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes