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Western Fescue
Festuca occidentalis
About Western Fescue (Festuca occidentalis) Nurseries Show All Photos Festuca occidentalis is a species of grass known by the common name western fescue. It is native to much of the northern half of North America and is most widely distributed in the west. It is most often found in forest and woodland habitat. This fescue is a densely or loosely clumping grass with very thin stems reaching maximum heights of around one meter. The soft leaves reach up to about 25 meters in length and are somewhat hairlike. The flower cluster has one or two very thin branches bearing spikelets 6 to 12 millimeters long. There are no rhizomes.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3 - 4 ft (0.9 - 1.2 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Open places

Part Shade

Elevation ?
13' - 11171'

Annual Precip. ?
5.2" - 149.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.18" - 5.47"

Coldest Month ?
21.2° F - 52.5° F

Hottest Month ?
44.5° F - 80.8° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 25.73 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sandy or loamy soils. Does not grow well in clay soils.

Sunset Zones ?
4*, 5*, 6*, 7, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*, 21, 22, 23, 24

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Common uses
Groundcovers, Deer Resistant

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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