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Melic Grass
Melica transsilvanica 'Red Spires'

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Melica (ME-lee-kuh) (Info)
Species: transsilvanica (trans-il-VAN-ik-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Red Spires
Synonym:Melica ciliata var. transsilvanica


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:

Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Washington, Illinois

Des Moines, Iowa

Spokane, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 4, 2011, Spokaloo from Spokane, WA wrote:

This is a beautiful, airy, light green grass. The seeds are wonderful...and fertile. I have seedlings everywhere. I'm going to pull the seedheads immediately this year to eliminate the seedlings. Additionally, this needs to be staked as it tends to topple over. I would not recommend this for a controlled setting but it would be wonderful in a wilder setting.


On Jul 17, 2008, MaukaToMakai wrote:

Potentially very invasive in Hawai'i. Do not plant there.


On Jan 16, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

The seed heads are nice, but my real reason for having Red Spire Grass is for what it draws. I love to look out and see cardinals eating from it. The grass itself provides protection for smaller critters. A definite must for nature lovers!

'Red Spires' is hardy to zone 5, and can take partial sun. Blooms in July in my garden.


On Jul 16, 2003, Dhanu wrote:

Melica Transsilvanica-pearl grass 'Red Spire' can be easily started from seed indoors. I had almost 90% germination from a pkg of seeds. The seedlings will grow fast. The foliage looks interesting. This is the 1st year I am growing it. If you have any other inf. on this grass , would you please let me know?