Festuca longifolia

Common Name: hard fescue 
Family: Poaceae
Native Range: Western Europe
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 0.75 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Light green to brown
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil


Best grown on slightly acidic, evenly moist to dry, loamy to sandy, well-draining soils in full sun. Tolerates drought once established. Does not respond well to close mowing, and does not compete well against other plants. Hardy in Zones 3-9, but prefers climates with cool summers.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Festuca longifolia, commonly known as hard fescue or blue fescue, is a perennial, tussock-forming grass native to the open heathlands of eastern England and the rocky cliffs of southern England, the Channel Islands, and northwestern France. Mature clumps will reach up to 2' tall with an equal spread. The upright to arching, narrow, lanceolate foliage is a dark green-grey color and can reach up to 2.5' long. This species blooms in late spring and into summer. The inflorescences are held slightly above the foliage and are topped with a densely branched panicle of light green to brown spikelets.

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

The specific epithet longifolia means "long leaved", in reference to the length of the foliage of this species


Rabbits are occasional grazers. Susceptible to the leaf rust.


Slopes, medians, and other low-traffic areas. Suitable for erosion control.