Is Marathon Grass A Fescue

Marathon grass is a popular choice for homeowners looking to achieve a lush, green lawn that can withstand heavy foot traffic. But is marathon grass actually a type of fescue? In this article, I will delve into the characteristics of both marathon grass and fescue to determine if they are indeed the same or if they differ in significant ways.

What is Marathon Grass?

Marathon grass, also known as Marathon II or Marathon Sod, is a type of turfgrass that belongs to the species Zoysia japonica. It is known for its dense growth habit, ability to withstand drought and heat, and remarkable durability. Marathon grass has a medium texture and a dark green color, making it visually appealing for lawns and sports fields.

One of the key features of marathon grass is its remarkable tolerance to heavy foot traffic. This makes it an excellent choice for homes with active children or pets, as well as sports fields that experience constant use. It forms a dense, thick turf that can quickly recover from damage, making it an ideal option for high-traffic areas.

Understanding Fescue Grass

Fescue grass, on the other hand, is a type of cool-season grass that belongs to the genus Festuca. Fescue grasses are known for their ability to grow well in shady areas and their high tolerance to cold temperatures. There are several species of fescue grass, including tall fescue, fine fescue, and creeping red fescue.

Unlike marathon grass, fescue grass has a fine texture and a lighter green color. It is not as drought-tolerant as marathon grass and may require more frequent watering during dry periods. Fescue grass also has a lower tolerance to heavy foot traffic and may show signs of wear and tear more easily.

Is Marathon Grass a Fescue?

While both marathon grass and fescue grass are types of turfgrass, they are not the same. Marathon grass belongs to the Zoysia genus, while fescue grass belongs to the Festuca genus. They have different growth habits, textures, and tolerances to environmental conditions.

Marathon grass is a warm-season grass, meaning it thrives in warm climates and goes dormant during colder months. Fescue grass, on the other hand, is a cool-season grass that grows best in cooler temperatures.

Additionally, marathon grass has a higher tolerance to heavy foot traffic and recovers quickly from damage, whereas fescue grass is more sensitive to wear and tear.


In conclusion, marathon grass and fescue grass are not the same. Marathon grass is a type of Zoysia grass, known for its durability and ability to withstand heavy foot traffic, while fescue grass belongs to the Festuca genus and is preferred for its shade tolerance and ability to thrive in cooler temperatures.

When choosing between marathon grass and fescue grass, consider your specific needs and the environmental conditions of your area. If you live in a warm climate and have a high-traffic lawn or sports field, marathon grass may be the best option for you. However, if you have a shady area or live in a cooler region, fescue grass may be more suitable.

Remember to consult with a lawn care professional or local nursery for more personalized advice and guidance when selecting the right grass for your lawn.