Plants: Festuca gautieri - bearskin fescue

Posted by 03.03. 2015 14:00:40 (14466 readers)

Bearskin fescue or spiky fescue is a lovely perennial with bright green, narrowly linear, inward inrolled leaves that look spiky but are very soft and nice to touch indeed. The plant naturally forms small mounds and spreads very slowly. Its name bearskin fescue may sound just right if you imagine a bear with somewhat overgrown fur painted green for a fancy dress party.

Festuca gautieri - bearskin fescue

This fescue was formerly known as festuca eskia or festuca scoparia. Nowadays festuca gautieri is considered the preferred name.

Bearskin fescue is not as easy to grow as it might look. It is very picky about soil pH structure – it needs to be free draining, preferably poor and neutral or acidic rather than alkaline. Wind or hard frosts don’t matter if the ground is dry in winter. Place it in full sun and divide older clumps in early spring to avoid dying off from the centre. Under ideal conditions it is hardy to about -34°C (USDA zone 4).

Size/type: low perennial
Usual height: 0.2-0.2m
Usual width: 0.2-0.3m
Leaves: evergreen broadleaf
Colour of leaves: green
Flowers: insignificant or non-blooming
Location: full sun
Usda zone (lowest): 4 (down to -34°c)
Belongs to categories: bamboos and grasses, evergreen broadleaf
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