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NPIN: Native Plant Database

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Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhly)
Fannon, Carolyn

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Muhlenbergia capillaris (Lam.) Trin.

Gulf muhly, Hair-awn muhly, Hairy-awn muhly, Hair grass, Pink muhly

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Muhlenbergia capillaris var. capillaris

USDA Symbol: muca2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), PR (N)

Hairy-awn muhly or gulf muhly is a 1 1/2-3 ft., perennial grass with a large, airy, much-branched seed head up to half as long as the entire plant. The spikelets are purple. In fall the plant takes on a feathery, deep pink hue.

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.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Leaf: Yellow-Green
Fruit:
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Oct

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Native Distribution: MA to s. IL & s.e. KS, s. to FL & e. TX
Native Habitat: Sandy, pine openings; prairies; dry, exposed ledges

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.

Benefit

Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Germinates well and grows easily.
Seed Collection: Collect seed in November when they start to lose the pink color. Use a comb so as to not damage the appearance of plants.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Plants for a steep lot in Tennessee
August 07, 2008
I have built a home on a very steep lot (approx 1 1/2 acres)in Northern Central Tenn in Jackson County. The lot is too steep to mow and some of it is too steep to stand on comfortably. My question is...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for sunny yard in New Jersey
July 23, 2008
Hi. I'm looking for ground cover for a mostly sunny section of my yard. The ground we are looking to cover is next to a slight hill with in a few feet of an in ground pool. I would like something tha...
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Grasses and wildflowers for Houston meadow
February 28, 2008
I recently bought a house in a new subdivision just south of Houston - as with most new developments, the area is devoid of nature for the most part... I have planted many bird/butterfly/bee fr...
view the full question and answer

Trimming of native muhly grasses
February 11, 2008
Do pine muhly, gulf muhly, and bull muhly need an "annual haircut"? I started wondering after reading that Lindheimer's muhly does not have to be cut back each year. I cut back all my non-muhly n...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FAC OBL FACU FACU FACU FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Wrights Nursery - Briggs, TX
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Native Plant Nursery - Sanibel, FL
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
Far South Wholesale Nursery - Austin, TX

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1216 Collected 2008-10-31 in Brazoria County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Bibliography

Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Muhlenbergia capillaris in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Muhlenbergia capillaris in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Muhlenbergia capillaris

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-10-25
Research By: TWC Staff, MAC

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