Monday, July 14, 2008

Molasses Grass, Melinis minutiflora

Melinis minutiflora, Molasses Grass
This grass came into flower a couple of weeks ago and I guess the colour could be described as reddish brown or maroon This photo does not really show it up that well because it is such an unassuming plant and is not particularly showy or ornamental.
I grow this on the nature strip under some trees. It grows in a loose straggling fashion from a central crown. It was introduced into Australia from South America as a pasture grass in the early part of the 20th century as it was able to grow on steep banks and prevent erosion. It never became a "weed" as it does not set a lot of viable seed.
What I love about it, is that it exudes a strong sweet smell from its somewhat hairy leaves especially during humid Summer days. If you are driving through northern New South Wales or South East Queensland at that time of year ,it is hard not to miss it and take in that heady fragrance .

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