Melica uniflora

Common Name: wood melick 
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Native Range: southwest Asia
Zone: 7 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Purplish-brown
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-9 where it is best grown in sandy, moderately fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Avoid full sun in hot summer climates. This species tolerates soil dryness and sun-dappled or shaded conditions better than most other melicas.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Melica uniflora, commonly called wood melick, is a rhizomatous, perennial grass that is native to Europe, southwestern Asia and northern Africa. It typically grows in slowly spreading clumps to 12-24" tall. It is noted for performing well in dry, shady areas. Flat, thin, rough, linear, pointed, green leaves (to 8" long) are pubescent above. Ovate, purple-brown, flower spikelets (each to 3" long) appear in summer in minimally-branched panicles.

Genus name comes from the Greek word melike for a grass.

Specific epithet means one-flowered (fertile flowers are solitary).


No serious insect or disease problems. Leaf spot, anthracnose, rust and smut may appear.


Borders, open woodland gardens or cottage gardens. Although commonly found in parts of its native range, this grass may be difficult to locate in commerce in the U.S.