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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Muhlenbergia brevis - short muhly

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Grows on rocky slopes, gravelly flats and rocky outcrops; particularly in limestone soils in grasslands, pinyon-juniper woodlands, and pine-oak woodland.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 5000 - 8000 feet

General Description

Desc: This grass grows in clumps or tufts, with stems 1 to 8 inches long. Stems may be erect or trailing and sometimes root at the nodes. Leaves are mostly basal, below the middle of the stems.
Identification notes: Spikelets usually in subsessile-stemmed pairs; lower glumes 2-veined, minutely to deeply bifid or with short awns; upper glumes 1-veined or veinless, irregularly notched or awned; glumes shorter than the lemmas; lemma awns 3/8 to 3/4 inch long.
Grass Type: Annual  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: Less than 12 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - contracted  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Aug - Oct

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: One-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: Less than 1/4 inch   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead is 1 to 4 inches high bearing laterally compressed spikelets. Seedhead may be partially hidden in leaf sheaths. Spikelets have 1 fertile floret, usually in subsessile-stemmed pairs.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: Y  Blade Cross Section: Flat or involute  
Blade Notes: Blades are 1/2 to 2 inches long and 1/8 inch wide, flat to involute, and covered with fine stiff hairs. Mid-veins and margins are thickened and whitish in color. Leaf blades have auricles.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Leaf sheath is mostly open, or loose, and smooth. Ligules are less than 1/8 inch long, membranous and pointed. Ligules sometimes have lateral lobes.

Forage Value: Fair to good.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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