About Amenity Grass – Fescues – Species Identification and Suitability Guide

Phoenix Amenity Supplies offers a comprehensive range of amenity grass species and varieties in our specially formulated grass seed mixtures.This Species Identification and Suitability Guide has been created as a support for customers and advisors to help with their choice of species and seed mixtures.

Fecue Varieties can be found in the following Phoenix Amenity Seed Mixtures: 

Fine Ornamental Grass Seed Mix

Summer Sports Grass Seed Mix

Reclamation Grass Seed Mix (non-ryegrass)


  • Slender/Strong Red Fescue – Festuca rubra literalis/rubra rubra

Description – Perennial Grass Species: tuft and rhizome former – Red Fescue  can be subdivided  into 3 groups: these are chewing fescue, slender creeping red fescue and strong creeping red fescue. The external characteristics are the same except for formation or non-formation of rhizomes of varying length. With leaves that are angular with shiny undersides and covered with rows of hairs. The leaf sheath is often off-red. In dry periods can develop a brown colour which disappears when it rains. Flowers in first half of May. Suitability – Grows in most conditions and soil types: acid and lime rich.Tolerant to shade, very resistant to frost and salt. Height – 20-80cm Uses –  Amenity areas, lawns and golf courses.


  • Sheep’s/Hard Fescue – Festuca ovina/ Festuca longifolia

Description – Very fine leaved, hairless with a strongly ribbed ridged upper surface, high shoot density, characteristically forms whorls as a mature plant, The Leaves greyish to blue green coloration.  Leaf sheaths open and overlapping. Rhizomes absent. Suitability – A highly drought tolerant, low nutrient demand grass, has a tolerance to a wide range of soils from acidic to highly basic.Some cultivars tolerate very close mowing. Height – 10-50cm. Uses – A highly flexible species used in a diverse range of mixtures from golf to moor land. It is particularly useful in low maintenance situations and has a tolerance to a wide range of soils from acidic to highly basic. Visually attractive if left uncut.


  • Tall Fescue – Festuca arundinacea

Description – Perennial Grass species, A course grass which forms loose tufts with short horizontal rhizomes. Undersides of leaves are shiny and stems can be up to 1cm thick. Suitability – Tolerant to dry and wet periods, grows well along banks of rivers and in ditches.Height – up to 150cm, Uses: Grows tall and stalky used  around airports as a bird deterrrent, used on sports fields in warmer climates.


  • Chewings Fescue – Festuca rubra commutata

Description – Grows in tufts with fine leaves – young leaf folded in shoot and generally remains unfolded when mature.No rhizomes. Suitability – Requires minimal water and fertiliser. Tolerates acidic soils.Uses – Has a high shoot density and tolerance to close cutting which makes the species particularly suitable for golf greens, tees, fairways and ornamental lawns.

  • Meadow Fescue – Festuca pratensis

Description – A hairless grass species with a closed leaf sheath. The undersides of the leaf are very shiny. The lowest leaf sheath is often violet red. Looks a little like tall fescue. Flowers- June to July. Height – 30 -70cm Suitability: A non-competitive grass it is valuable in pasture and can be used alongside road verges that are not too dry. Uses –Can be used in damp soil conditions.