Ruby Crystals Grass

Melinis nerviglumis

My friend Jenny introduced me to this lovely little ornamental grass, which makes a wonderful addition to very dry areas the landscape, especially in xeric gardens with decomposed granite beds.

It stays small, getting only about 18 to 24 inches tall and a little less wide. The delicate, light green foliage clumps from a single base, the same as other ornamental grasses. But the real show-stopper on this plant is the rosy pink, softly textured seed heads that sway gently in the breeze.

Ruby crystals grass prefers the full, intense sun, takes very little water, even during establishment, and looks great from spring all the way through summer. The seed heads detach and blow away once they’ve dried, and the plant reseeds easily around the garden, so keep an eye out for it in areas where you might not want it to grow and simply pull the seedlings before they get very big.