Vegetative Growth
Flowering Plant

Creeping Red Fescue


(Festuca rubra (rubra))

Often known as Strong Red Fescue, this common grass, as its name implies, has creeping rhizomes . It has a more vigorous creeping habit than some similar species which can help to create a dense, hardwearing turf or sward. These shallow creeping roots help it to remain green even in drier soils.


Often used in landscaping or amenity mixtures, where toughness and durability over a fine finish is required. Other more delicate species like Slender Creeping Red Fescue maybe used where a finer finish is required, for example in lawns. It can also be used to create a tougher sward in agricultural mixtures, such as horse pastures.


A very persistent perennial grass species.


Its creeping growth habit allows it to create a dense, tough sward. The creeping rhizomes can also access moisture in dry conditions, meaning it can stay greener throughout the summer.

Sowing Rate Advice

80kg per acre - 200kg per ha

Its unusual to sow this species as a pure stand in agricultural situations, amenity uses may require a higher sowing rate.

Mixture Sowing Rate Advice

1.5 - 2.5 kgs per acre / 3.75 - 6.25 kgs per ha.

Be cautious when including Strong Red Fescue in mixtures with less aggressive grasses, as it can have a smothering effect if included at a high rate. Ryegrass based mixtures will be more resilient.

Ideal Sowing Time

Sowing in warm soil conditions with adequate moisture will help the seed to germinate and establish quickly.


Creeping Red Fescue can tolerate close mowing or grazing, regular cutting will help to encourage tillering and create a dense sward.

Distinguishing characteristics


The seed is a thin oblong shape, with points at either end. It is a beige colour and smooth to the touch, usually it is no more than 5mm in length.

Vegetative State

Flowering Plant

Flowering Plant
Culms are erect or curved towards the base often red to purple. The leaf sheaths are tubular with the basal sheaths densely covered in downward pointing hairs. Ligules are very short, with rounded barely perceivable auricles. The lowest branch of the panicle juts out horizontally. This species has defined long, creeping rhizomes forming dense patches. It can reach between 20 and 60 cm in height.

Additional Info

Flowering June - July. Average seeds per kg - 900 000.

Works well with

Creeping red fescue is an inexpensive seed and can be included in simple mixtures, such as low grade landscape or amenity mixtures It combines well with the low growing, fast establishing Dwarf Ryegrass, for quick, resilient ground cover.

Buy Creeping Red Fescue Straight

You can find Creeping Red Fescue in the following mixtures