Ornamental Grasses

Video: Savannah Grass (Melinus nerviglumis) for Cut-flower Production | from Johnny's Selected Seeds

We're in the trial field, looking at savannah grass (Melinus nerviglumis).

This is an annual grass for us (Zone 5), a perennial in Zones 8 to 10.

It's a little bit of a long-season crop: 100 to 120 days from seeding until bloom. This is early September. You can see lots of beautiful blooms for late-summer bouquets.

It's this lovely sort of mauvey-rose-gold color.

When harvesting this, for fresh or dried use, you want to look for blooms that are starting to show good color, but also that are still fairly tight.

So you can see something like this here; although it's fluffy and cute, that's quite a bit past [harvest stage], and that would shatter in the vase, if dried.

So this is sort of the stage of harvest you would look for.

And the way we do it is, just find a nice stem, pull up, and that's how you do it.

And these dry pretty nicely. They look quite a bit different when they're dry, but still really nice. So it's more of this plume sort of blow-out. And it's this puffy, more mauvey-purple color, but really lovely for a silvery, feathery dried flower.

And then they also would make a really nice, really beautiful container plant or garden plant. The plants are pretty well contained, not out of control — with a beautiful show of these mauvey-rose colored plumes.

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