90220To avoid confusion with dwarf fescue blue turf grass, Festuca ovina glauca is more familiarly known as blue festuca. If planted close together and left to spread as a small scale ground cover, it is much lumpier and mounding than uniformly spreading turf. It is a clumping perennial that is more popularly grown as distinct tufts of finely textured blue gray foliage that looks like gray sea urchins.

Either individually, or in small herds, these resilient gray sea urchins mix nicely with brightly colored flowering annuals. They do not need too much water, but can tolerate as much as annuals want. Their color is best in full sun. Partially shaded plants are greener, with longer and more pliable leaves. So are feral plants that rarely grow from seed. Modern cultivars are bluer than classic types.

The evergreen foliage does not get much higher than half a foot, with thin and less impressive floral spikes that stand a bit higher in summer. It slowly spreads wider, but before it gets a foot wide, it will probably be going bald in the middle. Overgrown or balding plants can be dug and divided into new smaller plants in winter. Old foliage that gets shorn in the process is replaced in spring.


10 thoughts on “Blue Festuca

  1. If it’s the kind I have, boy does it self seed! Everywhere. It’s so beautiful, but last summer I cut off the, well, I guess, flowers? since the year before the seeds grew all over the yard. Now, I’m changing directions, and from now on will let it do what it wants. My problem right now is, the ground is too wet for the neighbor’s cats to dig in, so they are doing their “should be done at home in a litter box” business on top of the plants! MY cats don’t go over to THEIR house to relieve themselves!

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    1. Blue festuca can naturalize in the right situations. It is something that we can read about, but probably never witness. I have seen it self sow only a few times, and have never seen it spread any more than sporadically, although I know it can in other regions.


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