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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Muhlenbergia emersleyi (Bullgrass)
Anderson, Wynn

Muhlenbergia emersleyi

Muhlenbergia emersleyi Vasey

Bullgrass, Bull Muhly

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Muhlenbergia gooddingii

USDA Symbol: muem

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AZ , NC , NM , TX
Native Habitat: Hillsides/Slopes, High elevation

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay


Use Ornamental: Grows in clumps, Erosion control
Use Wildlife: Graze, Seeds-granivorous birds, Cover
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Red-bordered Satyr
(Gyrocheilus patrobas)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Large Roadside-Skipper
(Amblyscirtes exoteria)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Mr. Smarty Plants says

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

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
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2021-02-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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