Festuca ovina* (Sheep fescue)

Cool season, long-lived, perennial bunchgrass similar to Hard fescue (F. brevipila) but more drought tolerant and with a more extensive root system. Adapted to various soil types; tolerant of weakly saline to alkaline and acidic sites. Sometimes misclassified as a native due to its widespread and longstanding naturalization. Primarily used as groundcover and soil stabilizer on erosion control projects such as roadsides and recreation areas. Tolerance to moderate equipment traffic makes it useful in vineyards, orchards and equipment yards. Often included in wildflower seedings and sometimes as a low maintenance turfgrass or ornamental. Attractive blue-green color. The most drought tolerant and water efficient of all the cool season turfgrasses. Varieties listed below.

area of adaptation

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INFORMATION & ATTRIBUTES

Family: Poaceae

Duration: Perennial, long-lived

Growth Habit: Graminoid

Native Status: Introduced

Season: Cool

Growth Form: Bunchgrass

Mature Height: 12-24 in.

Annual Precipitation: 12-30 in.

Drought Tolerance: High

Shade Tolerance: Intermediate

Elevation: 

Wetland Indicator Status: FACU

Fire Resistance: No

Fire Tolerance: Medium

SOIL ADAPTATION

Coarse Texture: Yes

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: No

Salinity Tolerance: Low

CaCO3 Tolerance: None

pH Range: 5.5-7.5


SEEDING NOTES

Seeds per Pound: 530,300

Seeding Rate: 2-4 PLS lbs/acre

Season: Spring/Fall

Days to Germination:


VARIETIES

Azure - Leaf blades are very fine, low growth habit and deep blue-teal color which intensifies under heat and drought stress. Tolerant of infertile soils and shade. Very slow growing, reducing landscape maintenance. Primarily used for turf areas or in wildflower mixtures.

Covar - Short aggressive competitor that forms attractive drought tolerant cover. Blue-green color. Survives with as little as 10 in. of annual precipitation; winter hardy. Slow to establish but extremely persistent once it becomes rooted. More drought tolerant than all other fescues. Used for erosion control, reclamation, low maintenance turf or as an ornamental. (Released 1977)

Various turfgrass types are also available. If you are looking for turfgrass varieties, please contact us.


ADDITIONAL LINKS

USDA PLANTS Profile

USDA PLANTS Plant Guide

Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria