Turfgrass – Fine Fescue

(Festuca rubra)

Fine Fescue is a low-maintenance, cool season turfgrass that is known for its shade adaptation and low nitrogen requirement. This turfgrass also has a low moisture requirement for survival and is well adapted to cool, moist conditions. It is a common turfgrass of lawns, campsites and other public areas in most United States, with the exception of some southern states.

Identifying Fine Fescue -

Fine fescue features leaves that are rolled in the bud and membranous ligules that are very short. The collar is narrow and indistinct, and auricles are absent in this turfgrass.

Fine fescue sheaths are slightly rough, not compressed, and wider than the blades. The lower sheaths are brown in color. The bristle-like leaf blades are very narrow – 1/16 of an inch wide or less – and slightly folded.

The seedhead is a closed, coarse panicle with pale green colored spikelets that are rough and feature short awns.

Common Lawn Problems with Fine Fescue-

  • Not well adapted to excessive moisture and will be damaged by disease in these situations
  • Will quickly go dormant in high heat and drought conditions
Turfgrass - Fine Fescue

Characteristics of Fine Fescue

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