Muhlenbergia rigida (Kunth) Trin.
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Synonym(s): Muhlenbergia metcalfei
USDA Symbol: muri3
Purple muhly is a densely tufted perennial with erect stems, 2-3 1/3 ft. tall. Leaves are crowded at the base among persistent old sheaths. The seed head is dark purple; narrow at the base and becoming loose and open at the top of its 6-12 in. length.
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Achene , Caryopsis
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Time: Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: AZ , NM , TX
Native Distribution: W. TX to AZ & n. Mex.
Native Habitat: High elevation, Hillsides, Slopes
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Rocky or gravelly soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Not Available
PropagationPropagation Material: Clump Division
Description: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-PM-21 Collected 2006-11-03 in Jeff Davis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 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
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Muhlenbergia rigida in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Muhlenbergia rigida in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Muhlenbergia rigida
MetadataRecord Modified: 2010-04-18
Research By: TWC Staff