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Zones 2B, 3-25, 27, H1, H2
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Melinis nerviglumis

Natal Ruby Grass
Poaceae (Gramineae)
Ornamental grasses and grasslike plants

This short-lived African native grass has narrow blue-green leaves that are first erect, then arching, forming clumps to 1 ft. high and slightly wider. From these rise 2-ft. flower spikes that open deep pink to purplish red and gradually fade to light pinkish tan. It can reseed, and plants may live over from year to year. In cold regions, treat as an annual; or pot up divisions and protect them during winter. In the tropics, it becomes a harmless weed. But in parts of the Southwest deserts, it is invasive enough to avoid. Formerly known as Rhynchelytrum nerviglume. A strain of this species introduced by the Denver Botanic Gardens is sold as ‘Pink Crystals’. It blooms in late summer and has survived winters in Pueblo, Colorado.

 

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