Skip to main content

Frequently (and not so frequently) Asked Questions

Simple keyword search (one or two words only)

 


BRIEF: Are these plants toxic?


QUESTION:
I am a landscape architect and I am currently designing a landscape for a daycare center. I am thinking of using several different species of ornamental grasses i.e. 'Elijah Blue' and a mixture of varieties. Do I need to be concerned about any toxic elements within these varieties? (Fescue Alkaloides etc.)

ANSWER:

Fescue toxicity is only an issue for livestock eating massive quantities of it and then usually only in warmer climates. Playing on it, mowing it, lying down on it, looking at it: none of those activities are a problem, and the fungal endophyte helps provide valuable protection against pests. Even if kids nibbled on some, there wouldn't be anything to worry about. Some of the hardier fescue varieties they use out west feel a little stiff and prickly when mown...one goes to lie down on what looks like a soft bed of drought-resistant fescue and it feels like a bed of nails, but that is another issue. There are softer texture fescues, too.