Festuca idahoensis (Idaho fescue)

Cool season, drought-tolerant perennial bunchgrass. Mostly adapted to deep, fertile, heavy soils, but will occur on thin well drained coarse sites. Seedlings are weakly competitive but once established mature stands are strongly competitive. Good palatability to livestock and wildlife. Varieties listed below.

native distribution

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Family: Poaceae

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Graminoid

Native Status: Introduced

Season: Cool

Growth Form: Bunchgrass

Mature Height: 24 in.

Annual Precipitation: 12-24 in.

Drought Tolerance: Low

Shade Tolerance: Intermediate


Wetland Indicator Status

Fire Resistance: No

Fire Tolerance: Medium


Coarse Texture: Yes

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: Yes

Salinity Tolerance: None

CaCO3 Tolerance: High

pH Range: 5.6-8.4


Seeds per Pound: 450,000

Seeding Rate: 3-6 PLS lbs/acre

Season: Spring/Fall

Days to Germination:



CTUIR - Source Identified selection from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Umatilla County, OR averaging 12-17 in. annual precipitation.

Joseph - Developed from 13 clones. Taller, more uniform and achieves greater basal density than Nezpurs. (Released 1983)

Nezpurs - Developed from 90 clones. High seed producer with good seedling vigor and germination. More plant variability than Joseph. (Released 1983)

Winchester - Source Identified selection from Lewis County, ID averaging 18 in. annual precipitation.