Festuca amethystina 'Klose'

Common Name: tufted fescue 
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Green with purple tinge
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Black Walnut


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade, but best foliage color is in full sun. Tolerant of some drought and poor soils, but best performance occurs when plants receive regular and consistent moisture throughout the growing season. Intolerant of wet, poorly-drained soils. In the St. Louis area, foliage is semi-evergreen in that it may retain some color in mild winters, but clumps will show considerable browning in harsh winters. Clumps tend to die out in the center and need to be divided and replanted or replaced every 2-3 years. Cut back foliage in early spring to 3-4” to tidy clumps and to facilitate emergence of the new leaf blades. Clumps may decline in hot, humid summers, and should be cut back if such occurs. Mass densely (plant 8-10” apart) when planting as a ground cover since clumps spread outward rather slowly. Species plants will self-seed in the garden.

‘Klose’ should be propagated by division.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Festuca amethystine, commonly known as tufted fescue, hair fescue or large blue fescue, is an evergreen to semi-evergreen, tufted, fine-textured, blue-green, cool season grass with thin hair-like blades that typically grows in dense fountain-like clumps to 12” tall. Slender stalks rise above the foliage in late spring to early summer (June) to 18-24” tall bearing terminal panicles of amethyst (violet) flowers. Color of the grass ranges from blue-green to gray-blue. This grass is native to Central Europe.

Genus name comes from the Latin word meaning a grass stalk or straw.

Specific epithet means violet-colored.

‘Klose’ is an ornamental cultivar that is noted for its attractive olive green foliage. It typically forms a foliage clump to a compact 8” tall. Foliage emerges bluish-green in spring, maturing to olive green. It may bronze in hot summers. Foliage typically forms a tuft of erect to arching, needle-like blades radiating upward and outward to a height of 6-8” (inflorescences typically bring total clump height to 10-14”). Light green flowers with a purple tinge appear in terminal panicles atop slender stalks rising well above the foliage in late spring to early summer. Flowers give way to buffy seed heads which some gardeners find attractive but others find detractive to both the symmetry of the plant and the foliage color.

Cultivar name honors German nurseryman Heinz Klose.


Plants are short-lived and require frequent division. Plant foliage may decline considerably in hot, humid summers. Wet soils in winter can be very harmful.


Excellent as a clumping ground cover or path edger. Border fronts. Rock garden accent. Cottage gardens. Containers.