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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Hard fescue — Festuca longifolia

Photo of hard fescue Illustration of collar of hard fescue
Collar of hard fescue Illustration of overall plant of hard fescue
Overall plant structure of hard fescue


Hard fescue is a cool-season grass often used in cool-season grass seed mixtures when shade is an expected problem. It does well on low fertility soils and in shaded areas. This species is good as a non-mowed turf for slopes, median strips, and nonused areas of parks. It does not recover well from severe injury. It is not tolerant of high summer temperatures.

Identifying tips

A very fine-bladed grayish to dark-green grass. The leaves are folded in the bud, there are no auricles, and a membranous ligule is present. Hard fescue is a bunch grass with a semi-erect growth habit and heavy roots.


Low maintenance. Hard fescue is often not mowed and can be left unmowed (it doesn't respond well to close mowing). It has a low fertility requirement and has a high tolerance for drought, shade, and cold temperatures.

See the following publication for more information:

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