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Melinis nerviglumis on mass

Bristle-leaved Red Top (Melinis nerviglumis)

It is easy to confuse this grass 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 undistrubed veld. 

The bristle-leaved red top is a poor tp average grazing grass - a consequence of having wiry, rolled leaves. What is loses in grazing value it more than makes up in attractivness.  This showy grass is a lovely species for natural grass gardens. 

Features: 

  • 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