Ruby Grass, Bristle-leaved Redtop 'Pink Crystals'

Melinis nerviglumis

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Melinis (ME-lin-iss) (Info)
Species: nerviglumis (ner-vee-GLOO-miss) (Info)
Cultivar: Pink Crystals
Synonym:Rhynchelytrum nerviglume



Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

El Dorado, Arkansas

Joiner, Arkansas

Aliso Viejo, California

Knights Landing, California

Calabash, North Carolina

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Austin, Texas (2 reports)

Missouri City, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Spring, Texas (2 reports)

Stafford, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 28, 2006, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Ruby Grass, Bristle-leaved Redtop 'Pink Crystals' has been a wonderful addition to my landscape. It provides interest all year long. I have only had 6 plants come up from seed and am obviously fortunate according to the other comments. One baby plant is growing in a small crack between the street asphalt and the curb. I need to remove it before it becomes too large.

This year, during the extreme heat in August, the blooms were white for a while instead of ruby-colored. When the temperatures cooled some, the wonderful regular color of the blooms returned. This did not happen last year when the temperatures were even hotter so I do not know why this occurred. It could have been because I fertilized the plants.


On Jul 28, 2006, aprilwillis from Missouri City, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

It's really a beautiful grass; have divided it w/ only some success and have noticed some reseeding.


On Sep 11, 2005, HillCntryGrdnr from Spring Branch, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love this beautiful grass, however, a year after planting, I have REMOVED every one of the Ruby Crystal plants. I have to call them invasive, as I do not provide supplemental water, and even with our Texas drought, they continued to spread. It's a shame, because they are a beautiful plant, but they kept coming up EVERYWHERE. I don't want them escaping into the hinterlands. My fellow Comal Master Gardeners have also been warned; they are invasive.
------------Update 8/2016------------
I relented and planted three one-gallon Ruby Crystals in late May. They are beautiful and had no problem with the summer heat. I will report back as to their wandering habits.