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Liz Makings @
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Muhlenbergia dumosa - bamboo muhly

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Herbarium specimen

ASU Vascular Plant Herbarium
Usage Rights: CC BY-NC (Attribution-Non-Commercial)
Plant image

Liz Makings @
Plant image

Liz Makings @
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Cool
Habitat Description: Found on dry rocky slopes, canyon ledges, and along cliffs. When protected from grazing animals it grows in oak-pine and thorn-scrub forests and oak-grama grasslands.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: Below 6000 feet

General Description

Desc: Perennial bunchgrass with a thick, hard, rhizomatous base. Stems are fibrous or woody and often persist for more than one season.
Identification notes: Perennial, woody at the base, freely branching at the middle and upper nodes; rhizomes prominent and scaly; blades rolled inward, less than 1/16 inches long; seedhead stems up to 9 feet tall; seedhead narrow and condensed; spikelets on short stems.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: Y  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): Y  Bushy (highly branched): Y
Height with Seedheads: Greater than 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - contracted  Seedhead Droops: Y
Flowering Period: Jan - May

Flower Characteristics

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

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead is often shorter than the leaves; up to 1 inch long, narrow and somewhat bent. Spikelets are 1/8 inch long. Lemma is narrow, hairy at the base and margins, and pale with green nerves.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat or involute  
Blade Notes: Branch leaves are less than 1/16 inch wide and 1/4 inch or less long; smooth on the bottom and covered with fine short stiff hairs on top.
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: Sheaths are smooth, enlarged and flattened basally with a somewhat papery texture. Ligules are less than 1/16 inch, membranous and squarish.

Forage Value: Poor.

  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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