En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - February 10, 2014

From: Walnut Creek CA, CA
Region: California
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Can Gulf Muhly grow in California from Walnut Creek CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Walnut Creek, California, and recently learned about Muhlenbergia capillaris. It's a beautiful grass. Would this native do well here?

ANSWER:

There is good news and bad news - first the bad news:According to this USDA Plant Profile Map, Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhly) is not shown on this USDA Plant Profile Map as being native to any state closer to California than East Texas. As you may know, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, recommends the use of plants native not only to North America but also to the area in which that plant is to be grown because of plant needs for climate, water and soils. So, it would be almost impossible for us to say if it would do well there.

However, Californians seem to be game at trying just about any plant, so if you are also game, we suggest you first follow this plant link Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhly) to our webpage on the plant and compare your climate and growing conditions with those listed on that page, especially the Growing Conditions:

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Sandy soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam
Conditions Comments: In the fall, gulf muhly creates a stunning pink to lavender floral display. It functions well in meadow gardens and as a general garden plant."

Then, read this article from the  Master Gardeners of Marin Garden CA on  Muhlenbergia in California. Remember, we can make no guarantees, nor do we have information on whether it might be invasive in California, so you need to check on that.

 

From the Image Gallery


Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Establishing wildflowers on a slope in Virginia
August 18, 2012 - From Roanoke Virginia. I have a steep bank rising from one side of my driveway to woods above. Different areas vary from full sun, to half day shade. It is possible to carefully walk/stand on it, we a...
view the full question and answer

Advice on grasses under walnut trees
May 28, 2010 - Little advice on grasses: I am prepared to plant zoysia under two walnut trees. Forgot about juglone-is this a good idea?
view the full question and answer

Properties of Nolina species
November 16, 2010 - I bought two plants that were labeled "Nolina" but one has round leaves and the other has flat leaves with serrations. Are they two different species? Also, can they be divided or is there only on...
view the full question and answer

Re-landscaping neglected garden in Franklin CT
April 03, 2011 - I am starting from scratch in a yard that has no planting beds or, for that matter, plants at all. House was vacant for quite some time, grass was three feet tall when we moved in. I would like to p...
view the full question and answer

Is sulfurous well water affecting leaves on trees in Belton TX
November 07, 2011 - We installed an irrigation system for our buffalo grass lawn last spring. The grass is fine but the leaves on the trees are burned where the water hits them. I suspect that the well we are using fo...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center