Alphabetical Plant Listing

Festuca ovina (Sheep Fescue)

Sheep Fescue


Festuca ovina (Sheep Fescue) is a low-growing, cool season grass forming a densely tufted mound of narrow, stiff, semi-erect, green or gray-green leaves. In late spring to early summer, narrow and dense flowering panicles emerge on stiff, naked stalks, well above the tuft of leaves. Sheep Fescue is slow-growing, most of its growth being produced in the spring and again in the fall, if moisture is available. Summer growth is minimal and dependent on precipitation or irrigation. Native to Europe, this perennial grass has excellent cold tolerance, good drought tolerance, and moderate shade tolerance. It can withstand fire in the autumn, but requires 2 -3 years to fully recover. Long-lived, it does not spread vegetatively by runners, but spreads primarily via seed distribution. It is excellent for stabilization of disturbed soils, erosion and weed control thanks to its extensive root system. Easy to grow and low maintenance, Sheep Fescue performs well as a groundcover and is useful in informal grassland on poor soils.

  • Grows up to 12 in. tall (30 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun or light shade in sand, loam, dry or moist well-drained soils. This grass is drought tolerant.
  • Resistant to common turf diseases. Keep an eye out for grasshoppers.
  • Tolerate both regular and close mowing.
  • Native to Europe.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Festuca - Fescues
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10" – 1' (25cm – 30cm)
Spread 10" – 1' (25cm – 30cm)
Spacing 12" – 18" (30cm – 45cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Drought
Garden Uses Ground Covers
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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Matt Lavin, Flickr, Prambuwesas, Shutterstock

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
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Festuca - Fescues
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10" – 1' (25cm – 30cm)
Spread 10" – 1' (25cm – 30cm)
Spacing 12" – 18" (30cm – 45cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Semi-Evergreen
Tolerance Drought
Garden Uses Ground Covers
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Festuca - Fescues

Guides with Festuca - Fescues

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