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Products > Plants - Browse By Region > Festuca mairei
Festuca mairei - Atlas Fescue

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: Africa, North (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [F. mairei 'Greenlee's Form']
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: < 0 °F
Festuca mairei (Atlas Fescue) - A long-lived evergreen clumping grass that forms fountain-like mounds to 18 to 24 inches tall and wide with yellowish gray-green foliage. Plant in full sun or part shade in a well-drained soil with occasional to regular irrigation - this plant is fairly drought tolerant when established but looks better (with fewer brown tips with occasional water) when watered regularly. It is quite cold hardy as a dormant grass (USDA Zone 4) and stays evergreen in warmer climates. It is tolerant of diverse soil types and does not need to be cut back, but benefits from a spring raking to remove older foliage. It is a great looking and dependable grass for slopes or for the natural meadow look. This selection made by John Greenlee is shorter and less likely to bloom than seed grown plants. John Greenlee in "The American Meadow Garden" says of this grass "This clumping grass, native to the Mediterranean, is one of the best groundcovers for large areas." This giant among the Fescues is native to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and into Algeria. It was named for René Charles Joseph Ernest Maire (1878-1949) a French botanist and professor of botany in Algiers who collected plants for study in Algeria and Morocco between 1902 and 1904 and is most famous for "Flore de l'Afrique du Nord" (The Flora of North Africa), a 16-volume work published posthumously in 1953.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Festuca mairei.