Alphabetical Plant Listing

Festuca idahoensis (Idaho Fescue)

Blue Bunchgrass, Bunchgrass Fescue, Idaho Fescue


Festuca idahoensis (Idaho Fescue) is a small, evergreen clumping grass forming a densely tufted mound of stiff, short, very narrow leaves, often of a beautiful blue-green to silver-blue color. From mid-spring to mid-summer, spikelets borne in narrow clusters emerge on stiff stalks, well above the tuft of leaves, and produce large awned fruits. Native from British Columbia to Alberta, south to central California and Colorado, this cool-season grass is longer lived than Festuca glauca and its clumps are less likely to die out in the center. It is drought tolerant and excellent for erosion control. Its striking foliage also provides texture and color contrast in the water-wise garden. Idaho Fescue is an important native forage grass for wild and domestic animals.

  • Grows up to 14 in. tall (35 cm) and 10 in. wide (25 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun in sand, loam and clay, well-drained soils. Water once per month in summer after the plant is established. This grass is drought tolerant.
  • Generally pest and disease free, it requires very little maintenance. Can be mowed after flowering to remove the flowers (not the leaves). Deer resistant.
  • This is a great candidate for beds and borders, banks and slopes (for erosion control) or as a groundcover.
  • Propagate by seed. No treatment necessary.
  • Native to western North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Festuca - Fescues
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 8" – 10" (20cm – 25cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, South Dakota, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Matt Lanvin, Debbie Ballentine, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Festuca - Fescues
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 8" – 10" (20cm – 25cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, South Dakota, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Festuca - Fescues

Guides with Festuca - Fescues

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