Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

Fruits & Nuts



Special Topics



Cornell University

festuca arundinacea
(fes-too-cah ah-run-dih-nay-see-ah)

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

Fescue is a short, tough grass that grows more as a bunch than as a creeping mass. It was once used as a forage grass in the Southeastern United States. Now it is commonly planted to stabilize roadsides and reduce erosion. "Kentucky 31" is a popular variety of fescue that has a finer texture and improved heat tolerance. Fescue is a medium shade of green.

What is it used for?

Fescue is described as the best cool-season turfgrass with a natural adaptation to heat tolerance for its growing region

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

Plant fescue seeds in a sunny, slightly fertile, well-drained spot at a rate of 7 pounds per 1000 square feet. Mow to a height of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches (the natural height of fescue is up to 3 feet). Fescue has great drought tolerance and wear tolerance.

What are its primary problems?

Fescue has a tendency to burn-out when the summer heat is on. "Kentucky 31" might be the best variety to try.

Previous Next

Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.