Red Fescue - Festuca rubra


    Tuft forming, 15 to 80 cm tall usually with creeping rhizomes and surface runners. Basal leaves and those of runners are all bristle like and up to 40 cm long with groove on upper side. Those of the flowering stems are flat when fresh 0.5 to 3 mm wide. Not always red tinged.

    Similar Species

    Festuca ovina

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    The basal leaves are rolled into tubes. The panicle is branched, but closes up after flowering. Each spikelet contains two or more florets which are awned. The sheath edges overlap.


    Meadows, roadside verges, dry grassland etc.

    When to see it

    May to July.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Very common throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 542 of the 617 tetrads.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map