Ruby Grass 'Savannah'

donn_(7b-8a)November 24, 2006

Melinus nerviglumis 'Savannah' or Rhynchelytrum nerviglume 'Savannah.'

A beautiful tropical grass, judging from pictures in Google. I just received some seeds, and plant to grow it next year as an annual.

Anyone have experience with this grass?

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Pudge 2b

I'm sure my zone 2 experience won't be of much use to you, Donn, but seeing as how no one else has info to offer...

I tried this grass twice, and never did see them bloom. I suppose my season is either not long enough or not consistently hot enough. Both times they were started early indoors (early March) then moved to the greenhouse (mid-April) and eventually planted out end-May/June. One year they were planted in large pots and another year in the garden. Both times there was lots of green and appeared to grow well, just no blooms - not even a hint.

Seeds were easy to germinate and put on growth quickly.

I believe they're native to Africa and need lots of hot days. I also recall they prefer dry soil.

Such a beautiful grass - I'll have to just continue to drool over pictures. Good luck with yours.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 10:09PM
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Thanks, Pudge. The trader I got them from is in zone 6, and she collected them from a show garden there. I expect I'll sow them in jugs outdoors in early April. I doubt if they'd benefit from winter sowing, being a tropical. I've had much better luck spring sowing warm season grasses.

I only got about 100 seeds, so I'll concentrate on growing them for seed for future years. Did you sow them individually, or in clumps?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 12:24PM
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Pudge 2b

I sowed several seeds to a pot, Donn.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 11:26PM
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Mine was just getting going in earnest when a severe early freeze hit. I did have snow cover and it was in a relatively sheltered spot.

It doesn't look very good anymore. The leaves curled up and are largely dried out. I hope it recovers.

Yes, it is native to Africa, where it is widespread. That particular cultivar is supposed to be native to South Africa and was supposed to be a bit hardier, to USDA z8. I'm in z8 but someone forgot to tell it that it should be hardy here.

It was slow-growing at first, but picked up rapidly in cooler weather, probably because any one of several fungus diseases I have go dormant in cool weather. It was looking good right before the freeze hit, but it had not yet bloomed.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 2:26AM
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