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Muhlenbergia schreberi (Nimblewill)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Muhlenbergia schreberi

Muhlenbergia schreberi J.F. Gmel.


Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Muhlenbergia palustris, Muhlenbergia schreberi var. palustris

USDA Symbol: musc

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (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

4 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 30 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , AR , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist


Use Wildlife: Stenodema vicinum (insect) feeds on grass. Young foliage is eaten by cattle and hoofed herbivores.
Warning: The tiny seeds may cling to the feet of animals and the shoes of people, distributing the grass to new areas. The awns (seed husks) of this species and some other grass species with similarly barbed awns pose a serious threat of injury to dogs in which they can cause severe eye injuries. Do not use this grass in areas frequented by dogs.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: No

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Groundcover to reduce erosion for shady area in New York
May 05, 2009
We live on a lake with gravelly and clay soils, lots of wind and little sun. I am looking for a native ground cover that will help reduce erosion over some of the steep slopes facing south (under shad...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

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.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2008-08-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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