Creeping Red Fescue

  • Scientific name: Festuca rubra
  • Adapted to gravely, calcareous soils
  • Prefers cool, temperate climates
  • Requires more moisture than hard or sheep fescue
  • Does best in areas with 18 inches or more annual precipitation
  • Thrives under irrigation, in sun or shade
  • Widely used for erosion control

Quantity is per pound. Example: 1 = 1 lb, 2 = 2 lbs, 3 = 3lbs, etc. This is pure seed, not a live plant.

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Creeping Red Fescue (Festuca rubra) is a perennial grass adapted to gravely, calcareous soils in cool, temperate climates. It requires more moisture than hard or sheep fescue, and prefers a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 but can survive considerable acidity. It is distributed across the US.

It can be grown as a dryland cover crop in coastal regions or other areas with average annual precipitation greater than 18 inches. Elsewhere, it will produce better yields if grown under irrigation. Creeping red fescue is climatically adapted to all of the major land resource regions that receive adequate moisture and have well-drained soils. It thrives in sun or shade.

Festuca rubra has a wide range when used for erosion control along roads and highways; cuts, fills, and other disturbed areas; and for stream and channel bank stabilization. It is very valuable as ground cover in wildlife habitat conservation, especially when grown in combination with taller species used for bird nesting sites. In general, creeping red fescue has not been very important as forage, due to low palatability and productivity. While it withstands close grazing, it tends to become unpalatable if allowed to grow.

For lawn and turf blend we recommend our Premium Lawn and Turf Mix

***Click the “Quick Plant Facts” tab above for more information.

(Festuca rubra)

Red Fescue Summary Plant Fact Sheet

PDF version of UMC Plant Summary

Prepared By: University of Maryland Center of Environmental Science

Download PDF

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Quick Plant Facts
Common Name:

Creeping Red Fescue

Scientific Name:

Plant Type:

Root Form



Seed Count



Available Varieties:

Min. Precipitation

18 Inches Minimum

Best Time to Sow:

Sowing Rate

2-4 PLS lbs. per Acre

Max Sowing Depth:

Plant PDF File


Growth Height:

Root Form:

Growth Season:

Sun & Shade Tolerance:

Shade tolerant

Elevation of Occurance:

pH Tolerance:

Hardiness Zones:

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