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.

native distribution

Map Coming Soon.jpg


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 out of Umatilla County, OR. (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation)

Joseph - A synthetic variety developed from 13 clones. Performs better than the one-line strains in terms of seed productivity, seedling vigor and germination. Taller, more uniform and achieves greater basal density than the original parents. (Released 1983, source of ecotype: Idaho)

Lake Chelan - Source Identified selection out of Chelan County, WA.

Nezpurs - A synthetic variety developed from 90 clones. High seed producer with good seedling vigor and germination. More variability in plant type than Joseph. (Released 1983, source of ecotype: Idaho and Washington)

Winchester - A non-synthetic, source identified variety type. Displays a high degree of variability in its characteristics, making it adaptable to various ecological situations. (Released 1998, source of ecotype: Lewis County, ID, Winchester)