A field of bristle-leaved red top grass, also called Melinis Nerviglumis

It is easy to confuse this Bristle Leaved Red Top grass or Melinis Nerviglumis with the Natal Red Top if not for one thing:  the Natal Red Top grows in disturbed soil (a pioneer), while the Bristle-leaved red top is an indicator of undisturbed veld.

The bristle-leaved red top or Mountain Red Top Grass is a poor to average grazing grass – a consequence of having wiry, rolled leaves. What is loses in grazing value it more than makes up in attractiveness.  This showy grass is a lovely species for natural grass gardens.


  • Leaves mostly at the base
  • Usually in gravely soil
  • Flowers fade from deep purple to white
  • Can flower throughout the year
  • A dense tufted grass