Muhlenbergia wrightii Vasey ex J.M. Coult.
Poaceae (Grass Family)
USDA Symbol: MUWR
Wright’s muhly or spike muhly’s clumps of erect, wiry stems rise 8-24 in. from a hard crown. Perennial clumps can be 1-2 ft. in diameter. The seed head is spike-like and interrupted along its length. Leaves are narrow and light green.
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.
The species name is for Charles Wright, 1811-1885, world-wide botanical collector but mainly in Texas (1837-1952), Cuba and his native Connecticut.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AZ , CO , NM , OK , UT
Native Distribution: CO & UT, s. to NM, AZ & n. Mex.
Native Habitat: Plains; open slopes of pinyon-juniper or pine-grassland areas
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Various dry soils.
Conditions Comments: Spike muhly is slow to establish but persistent.
PropagationDescription: Propagate by seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Muhlenbergia wrightii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Muhlenbergia wrightii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Muhlenbergia wrightii
MetadataRecord Modified: 2008-08-27
Research By: TWC Staff