Muhlenbergia porteri Scribn. ex Beal
Poaceae (Grass Family)
USDA Symbol: MUPO2
Bush muhly is a 1-3 ft., bushy, semi-woody perennial grass with wiry, spreading culms more or less branched from all nodes. The slender branches and branchlets are brittle and bear few, long-pediceled spikelets which taper into a delicate awn. The scale subtending the spikelet is purple.
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. Muhlenberg's work and collaboration with European botanists led to great advances in the study of plants and earned him the distinction as America's first outstanding botanist.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , CO , NM , NV , OK , TX , UT
Native Distribution: W. TX to CO, NV & s. CA; also n. Mex.
Native Habitat: Dry mesas & arroyos; rocky slopes; 2000 to 6000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Rocky soils.
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
BibliographyBibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Muhlenbergia porteri in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Muhlenbergia porteri in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Muhlenbergia porteri
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-07
Research By: TWC Staff