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.


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


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 deterrent, 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
  • Suitability: A non-competitive grass it is valuable in pasture and can be used alongside road verges that are not too dry
  • Height: 30-70cm
  • Uses: Can be used in damp soil conditions


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