Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Plant of the Week: Idaho Fescue

Let's start with full disclosure:  I have never actually planted this guy, but am really excited to get started by using it in my fall planting!   So you can see why I don't have any photos of the real thing (the imposter above is Festuca ovina glauca) and not feeling like "lifting" from other nice folks on the web, I have links under the "Buy it" category to happy nurseries that will gladly tell you all about it and show you some pretty pictures and I'm sure sell you one or two. 
Festuca idahoensis is a native grass (we share this native with other states in case you couldn't tell) that has blue-green blades in spring and puts on a great show in the summer of dried flower stalks splayed in the breeze.  Trim the grass a bit when your Felco trigger fingers get itchy  to encourage new growth and you've got a magnificent blue makeover in the springtime.

Soil:  Well-drained light clay is probably best, but it's not too picky
Sun:  Full sun to part shade
Plant:  Now!  Throughout the winter and into spring wouldn't be a bad idea, either.
Buy it:  Larner Seeds offers the seed and speaks lovingly about this grass being perfect for napping in and both Las Pilitas' nurseries carry them as well.  Yippee!  Native Here Nursery carries a few, too.
Good for:  Contrasting textures and colors with other plants.  Try pairing it with a hot pink salvia or some plump succulents.  You could also go minimalist and line them up in a grid or combine them with other native grasses. Apparently, it's good for grazing, so plant some for the neighborhood cows!

Folks that have grown it, please put your two cents in the comments and help the rest of us out!

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