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FESTUCA ovina

Image of Festuca ovina

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

FESTUCA ovina

Plant Common Name

Sheep Fescue

General Description

Sheep fescue is a perennial, tufted grass used both as ornament and lawn grass. It is native to the cool, western areas of North America and introduced to Europe and Asia. The leaves are fine in texture, linear to thread shaped, blue green in color and rough to the touch. The flowers are produced on narrow, branched spikelets and are green in color. The flower spikes are held well above the foliage and produced in summer.

Sheep fescue is a cool-season grass and can be short-lived. It prefers full sun to part sun locations with moist, well-drained soil, but has moderate drought tolerance. It can be mowed for lawns, but when used as an ornamental grass, central die out can occur every few years; prune slightly every year to encourage new growth and divide as needed. The lovely foliage of sheep fescue makes it a good choice for edging, groundcover and rock gardens as well as lawns.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

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

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    10"-16" / 25.4cm - 40.6cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    World/Pandemic, North America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Green, Tan

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Blue Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • 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