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Torrey's Melicgrass
Melica torreyana
  
About Torrey's Melicgrass (Melica torreyana) 10 Nurseries Carry This Plant Melica torreyana is a species of grass known by the common name Torrey's Melicgrass. There are numerous species in the genus Melica that are native to different parts of the state. This species is endemic to California, where it grows in chaparral, grassland, and other hillside and mountain habitats in the central Coast Ranges and Sierra foothills. It is a perennial grass with dense clumps of stems up to a meter long but often less. The flower cluster is a narrow panicle of small spikelets each under a centimeter long. It does not have a rhizome, and propagation is by seeds, which resemble grains of rice. Near the coast it can tolerate full sun, inland it needs part shade. In the fog belt or with supplemental water it will stay evergeen. It is tolerant of both poor soil and garden conditions, making it useful for gardens in the central part of the state. For other regions, see other species of Melica.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Grasses

Size
Size
1 - 3 ft tall
1 ft wide

Form
Form
Fountain

Dormancy
Dormancy
Summer Semi-Deciduous

Flower Color
Flower Color
Brown

Wildlife Supported
 


 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 1 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade

Moisture
Moisture
Very Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 2x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to -10° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Medium

Soil Description
Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils. Tolerates Serpentine Soil. Soil PH: 5.5 - 7.0

Common uses
Common uses
Butterfly Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Use with trees, shrubs and herbs appropriate to the garden location and the plant's native range, such as Buckeye (Aesculus californica), Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), Manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.), Ceanothus sp., Honeysuckle (Lonicera sp.), Monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus), Oak (Quercus sp.), Currant/Gooseberry (Ribes sp.), and native ferns

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. Best sown in fall.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
5, 7*, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Chaparral, coastal sage scrub, woodlands and evergreen forest along the central coast and Sierra foothills, at elevations from sea level to 3,000 ft.

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 11.4" - 74.8", Summer Precipitation: 0.18" - 1.66", Coldest Month: 31.8" - 55.1", Hottest Month: 60.4" - 77.2", Humidity: 0.02" - 26.73", Elevation: -22" - 6560"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Torrey Melic, Torrey's Melica


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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