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Wood Melick

Melica uniflora

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Poaceae (Grass)
Also in this family:
Alpine Catstail, Alpine Foxtail, Alpine Meadow-grass, Annual Beard-grass, Annual Meadow-grass, Arrow Bamboo, Barren Brome Grass, Bearded Couch Grass, Bearded Fescue, Bermuda Grass, Black Bent, Black Grass, Blue Fescue, Blue Moor-grass, Bog Hair-grass, Borrer's Saltmarsh Grass, Bread Wheat, Bristle Bent, Brown Bent, Brown Sedge, Bulbous Foxtail, Bulbous Meadow-grass, California Brome Grass, Canary Grass, Carnation Sedge, Cocksfoot, Cockspur, Common Bent, Common Cord-grass, Common Millet, Common Reed, Common Saltmarsh Grass, Compact Brome Grass, Corn, Couch Grass, Creeping Bent, Creeping Soft-grass, Crested Dog's-tail, Crested Hair-grass, Cultivated Oat, Curved Hard Grass, Cut Grass, Dense Silky Bent, Downy Oat-grass, Drooping Brome Grass, Drooping Tor Grass, Dune Fescue, Early Hair-grass, Early Meadow-grass, Early Sand-grass, False Brome Grass, False Oat-grass, Fern Grass, Fine-leaved Sheep's Fescue, Flattened Meadow-grass, Floating Sweet-grass, Foxtail Barley, French Oat, Giant Fescue, Glaucous Meadow-grass, Great Brome Grass, Greater Quaking Grass, Grey Hair-grass, Hairy Brome Grass, Hairy Finger-grass, Hard Fescue, Hard Grass, Harestail Grass, Heath Grass, Holy Grass, Hybrid Marram Grass, Italian Rye Grass, Knotroot Bristlegrass, Lesser Hairy Brome Grass, Lesser Quaking Grass, Loose Silky Bent, Lyme Grass, Marram Grass, Marsh Foxtail, Mat Grass, Mat-grass Fescue, Meadow Barley, Meadow Fescue, Meadow Foxtail, Meadow Oat-grass, Mountain Melick, Narrow-leaved Meadow-grass, Narrow-leaved Small-reed, Neglected Couch Grass, Nit Grass, Orange Foxtail, Pampas Grass, Perennial Rye Grass, Plicate Sweet-grass, Purple Moor-grass, Purple Small-reed, Purple-stem Catstail, Quaking Grass, Ratstail Fescue, Red Fescue, Reed Canary Grass, Reed Sweet-grass, Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass, Rescue Grass, Rough Meadow-grass, Rush-leaved Fescue, Sand Catstail, Sand Couch Grass, Scandinavian Small-reed, Scottish Small-reed, Sea Barley, Sea Couch Grass, Sea Fern Grass, Sheep's Fescue, Silver Hair-grass, Six-rowed Barley, Slender Brome Grass, Small Cord-grass, Small Sweet-grass, Smaller Catstail, Smooth Brome Grass, Smooth Cord-grass, Smooth Finger-grass, Smooth Meadow-grass, Soft Brome Grass, Somerset Hair-grass, Sorghum, Spreading Meadow-grass, Squirreltail Fescue, Stiff Brome Grass, Stiff Saltmarsh Grass, Sweet Vernal Grass, Tall Fescue, Timothy Grass, Tor Grass, Tufted Hair-grass, Two-rowed Barley, Upright Brome Grass, Velvet Bent, Viviparous Fescue, Wall Barley, Wavy Hair-grass, Wavy Meadow-grass, Whorl Grass, Wild Oat, Wood Barley, Wood Fescue, Wood Meadow-grass, Wood Millet, Yellow Oat-grass, Yorkshire Fog
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
90 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, mountains, rocky places, woodland.

Brown, no petals
A very distinctive and fairly common perennial grass. The flowers grow in very sparse, brown, nodding, egg-shaped spikelets. The small solitary flowers are arranged singly on long stalks.
Ellipsoid fruit, up to 4mm in length.
Wood Melick has pale green, drooping leaves which form dense clumps. It grows in dense patches, most often in limestone Beech woods. The leaf blades can reach up to 20cm long.
Other Names:
One-flowered Melic Grass, Wood Melic, Wood Melick Grass.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Melica uniflora, also known as one-flowered melic grass, is a species of perennial grass in the Poaceae family. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and it is typically found growing in woodlands and on rocky slopes. The plants grow to around 90 cm (36 inches) tall and produce long, narrow leaves and spikes of small, greenish-purple flowers. The flowers of Melica uniflora are typically single, hence the name "uniflora" meaning "one-flowered". It is commonly used as ornamental grass in gardens and landscaping, it is also used for forage, erosion control and it prefers moist, well-drained soils and partial shade.


Melica uniflora, commonly known as Wood Melick, is a cool-season grass that is native to North America. It is an attractive ornamental grass that grows in clumps and reaches a height of up to 3 feet. Wood Melick is a popular choice for gardeners and landscapers who want to add a touch of elegance and natural beauty to their outdoor spaces.

Appearance and Characteristics

Wood Melick has narrow leaves that are about 6-10 inches long and less than an inch wide. The leaves are light green in color and have a slightly glossy appearance. The flowers of Wood Melick are borne on spikes that can be up to 12 inches long. The flowers are light green or pale yellow in color and are arranged in a loose panicle. The flowering period is from May to August.

Wood Melick is a clump-forming grass that spreads slowly by short rhizomes. It prefers moist, well-drained soils and is typically found in open woods, meadows, and along roadsides.

Cultural Significance

Wood Melick has been used for centuries by Native Americans for medicinal purposes. It was commonly used to treat a variety of ailments, including fever, colds, and respiratory infections. Wood Melick was also used to make a tea that was believed to have a calming effect on the body.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Wood Melick has cultural significance for some Native American tribes. The Cherokee people used Wood Melick in ceremonies related to the harvest, and the Iroquois used it in rituals related to healing.

Gardening and Landscaping

Wood Melick is a popular choice for gardeners and landscapers because of its attractive appearance and ease of cultivation. It is a low-maintenance plant that requires little attention once established. Wood Melick is best planted in the fall or early spring, and it prefers well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter.

Wood Melick is an excellent choice for naturalistic gardens and wildflower meadows. It can also be used in more formal settings as a border plant or as a specimen plant in a mixed border. Wood Melick is particularly effective when planted in large groups to create a mass of swaying, elegant foliage.

Wood Melick is an attractive and easy-to-grow grass that has both cultural and medicinal significance. It is a popular choice for gardeners and landscapers who want to add a touch of natural beauty to their outdoor spaces. With its narrow leaves and delicate flowers, Wood Melick is a versatile and elegant plant that can be used in a variety of settings, from naturalistic gardens to formal borders. Whether for its beauty or its cultural significance, Wood Melick is a plant that deserves a place in any garden.

More Information about Wood Melick

Wood Melick is a cool-season grass, which means that it grows best in the cooler months of the year. It is a great option for those who want to add some interest to their garden during the spring and fall. It is also deer-resistant, making it a good choice for areas with high deer populations.

One of the most appealing features of Wood Melick is its ability to sway gracefully in the wind. This makes it an excellent choice for adding movement to a garden or for creating a naturalistic effect. The delicate flowers of Wood Melick are also attractive to pollinators such as bees and butterflies, making it a valuable addition to any wildlife garden.

Wood Melick is easy to care for and requires very little maintenance. It prefers moist, well-drained soils but can tolerate drought once established. It is also relatively disease-resistant and does not require fertilizer or other treatments to thrive.

In addition to its ornamental qualities, Wood Melick has been used for erosion control in some areas. Its deep roots help to stabilize soil and prevent erosion, making it a useful plant for areas with steep slopes or other erosion-prone conditions.

Wood Melick is an attractive, versatile, and easy-to-grow grass that is a great addition to any garden or landscape. With its cultural and medicinal significance, as well as its ornamental qualities, Wood Melick is a plant that deserves consideration for any outdoor space.

Wood Melick is a great option for those looking to create a low-maintenance garden or landscape. It requires very little watering and can tolerate a wide range of soil types, including sandy and clay soils. It is also drought-tolerant once established, making it a great choice for areas with hot, dry summers.

One of the best ways to use Wood Melick in a garden or landscape is to combine it with other native grasses and wildflowers. This creates a naturalistic effect that is both beautiful and beneficial to wildlife. In addition to providing food and habitat for pollinators, native plants like Wood Melick also help to support a healthy ecosystem by attracting beneficial insects and other wildlife.

Wood Melick is also a great choice for rain gardens or bioswales. These features help to capture and filter rainwater, reducing runoff and improving water quality. Wood Melick's deep roots help to stabilize the soil in these areas, reducing erosion and providing habitat for a variety of beneficial organisms.

Finally, Wood Melick is a great option for those who are interested in creating a sustainable garden or landscape. Native plants like Wood Melick require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides than non-native plants, making them a more eco-friendly option. By incorporating native plants into our gardens and landscapes, we can help to support biodiversity, reduce our environmental impact, and create beautiful, low-maintenance outdoor spaces.


Wood Melick filmed on Hutton Roof in South Cumbria on the 28th May 2023:


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