The unbranched culms of a Melinis nerviglumis tuft have hairy nodes or stem joints. The basal leaf sheaths overlap. The ligules at the blade junctions are bristly.
The bluish green leaves may be up to 25 cm long and 3,5 mm wide. Leaves are usually hairless and rolled in from the margins. The leaves become hard and wiry towards the end of the growing season (Van Oudtshoorn, et al, 1991; iNaturalist; Wikipedia; www.zimbabweflora.co.zw; http://pza.sanbi.org).