What are Fine Fescues?

Sheep fescue used in a water wise lawn

Photo source: Go Natural: Support a Pesticide Free Calgary Bylaw CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Turfgrass Quick Facts: Fine Fescues (Festuca species)

A variety of fine fescues types are available. These cool season turfgrass species tend to be more shade tolerant and have finer leaves than Tall fescue.  Many cultivars of each type are available.

Five Basic Types of Fine Fescue

Creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra subspecies rubra)

Slender creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra subspecies litoralis and F. trichophylla)

Chewings fescue (Festuca rubra  subspecies commutata)

Sheep fescue (Festuca ovina)

Hard fescue  (Festuca longifolia)

General Characteristics of Fine Fescues

  • Fine leaves
  • Can have dense sod formation
  • Mainly bunchgrasses (non mat or sod forming) except for creeping types
  • Do not tolerate traffic as well as other cool season grasses
  • Shade tolerant
  • Fairly drought tolerant
  • Very cold tolerant

In Depth Resources:                            




North Carolina