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Common name: Idaho Fescue
Scientific name: Festuca idahoensis
Duration: Perennial
Family: Grass family (Poaceae)
Habitat: Grows in a wide variety of sites, does not prosper in wet, poorly drained soils. Full to partial sun.
Blooming period: Summer
Color: Green leaves, bronze seed head
Height: 1-2'
Planting Time: late Fall preferable, early Spring if necessary

Idaho fescue is a long-lived, cool-season (grows primarily in the spring and fall and dormant in the hot summer months) bunchgrass. The leaves are fine and needle-like and remain green year round. 

Use it as a clumpy groundcover or as a blue-green accent in a rock garden

Pronunciation: Festuca idahoensis (fes-TOO-ka eye-duh-ho-EN-sis)

Other common names: blue bunchgrass, bluebunch fescue

Forage Value: Excellent forage for both livestock and wildlife (elk and deer), especially late in the growing season as Idaho fescue stays green longer than most other grasses. Idaho fescue leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of skipper butterflies. The seedheads attract multiple species of birds.

Miscellany: Because of Idaho fescue’s deep root-system and drought tolerance, this grass is ideal for erosion control and site-reclamation.

Festuca in Latin means stalk or stem, but is also translated from other languages as meaning "fescue" which means a grass with wide flat leaves cultivated in America and Europe for permanent pasture, hay, and lawns. Idaho fescue is a native grass with needle-like leaves and the broad-leaved species are now in a separate genus. 

idahoensis, -ensis is a Latin suffix which means "of" or "belonging to" and specifically refers to place names; hence from Idaho.

Photo credit: (Top left) J.W. Jensen;
(right) J. Trujillo
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1461 Thorn Creek Road, Genesee, Idaho 83832