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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Muhlenbergia rigens (Benth.) A.S. Hitchc.
Deergrass, Meadow muhly, Deer muhly
Synonyms: Muhlenbergia marshii, Epicanthes rigens
USDA Symbol: MURI2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Deer grass or meadow muhly, a robust, perennial bunchgrass, grows 3-4 ft. high, with narrow, 2 ft. plumes rising above light-green blades. The plant resembles a small pampas grass.
The genus of this plant is named for Gotthilf Heinrich Ernst Muhlenberg (1753-1815), also Heinrich Ludwig Muehlenberg, or Henry Muhlenberg, who was a German-educated Lutheran minister and the first president of Franklin College, now Franklin and Marshall College, Pennsylvania. He is most famous due to his work in the field of botany. An accomplished botanist, chemist, and minerologist, Henry is credited with classifying and naming 150 species of plants in his 1785 work Index Flora Lancastriensis. Muhlenbergs work and collaboration with European botanists led to great advances in the study of plants and earned him the distinction as Americas first outstanding botanist.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: The bloom time varies over its range.
AZ , CA , NM , NV , TX Native Distribution:
Sierra Nevada foothills, South Coast Ranges & Little San Bernadino Mts. Native Habitat:
Damp to dry grasslands, open woods & seasonal creeks USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Seasonally wet to dry soils.
Conditions Comments: Meadow muhly will attain mature size in one or two seasons.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals. Foliage used for nesting and denning.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High
PropagationDescription: Sow seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: No treatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
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Record Modified: 2009-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff