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Festuca californica

California Fescue

Ornamental grasses and grasslike plants, Perennials

FESTUCA

Some of these grasses are ornamental; others are used for lawns, erosion control, or pasture. All need good drainage, can withstand dry conditions and severe frosts. Clumps can be divided in fall.

Festuca californica

Native to the Coast Ranges from Northern California to Oregon. Grows as a loose clump of blue-green or blue-gray leaves to 2–3 ft. high, 1–2 ft. wide. Airy flowers rise 1–3 ft. above the foliage in late spring, early summer. Flower spikes are green at first, later turning purple and finally maturing to yellow. Long-lived and does well in various soil types. Tolerates summer drought in its cooler climate zones. Use as a specimen plant or massed as a groundcover. ‘Horse Mountain Green’ is a strong grower with leaves that are dark green above, chalky blue beneath; flower spikes can reach 6 ft. tall. ‘Scott Mountain’ and ‘Serpentine Blue’ have intensely blue-gray foliage.

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