These tropical African grasses are just the ticket if you want lots of show in a sweltering site. They're easy to grow, adapt to any well- drained soil, tolerate drought once established, and are impervious to heat. Bloom in summer, when nodding, pinkish, 3- to 4-in.-long plumes rise above the clumps of slender, arching, blue-green leaves. Excellent complements to agaves, yuccas, and salvias. Great in drifts; also make good container sub- jects. Though short lived, they're easy to start from seed and are often grown as annuals. They reseed rampantly. Formerly known as Rhynchelytrum.
M. nerviglumis. RUBY GRASS. To 22 ft. tall, up to 1 ft. wide. Coral-pink plumes appear in June and fade to silvery pink by September. 'Pink Crystals' has bright ruby plumes.
M. repens. NATAL GRASS. Similar to above but shorter (to just 12 ft. tall). Billowy clouds of soft pink plumes fade to cream and tan.