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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Muhlenbergia mexicana - Mexican muhly

Synonyms: Agrostis mexicana, Muhlenbergia ambigua, Muhlenbergia foliosa

Other Common Names: leafy satingrass, wirestem muhly, Muhlenbergie Mexicaine

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Found in moist soils, often in meadows, woodlands, along stream banks, and creeks.
Plant Communities: Riparian
Elevation: 5000 - 11000 feet

General Description

Desc: Perennial with scaly, vigorously creeping rhizomes. Stems are 12 to 36 inches tall, erect and much branched above the base.
Identification notes: Rhizomatous perennial; blades flat at maturity; ligules 1 mm long or less; seedhead of contracted branches; spikelets on short stems often purple tinged; glumes 1-nerved; awned or unawned; lemmas less than 1 mm with short hairs.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: Y  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): Y
Height with Seedheads: 24 to 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - contracted  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Jul - 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 up to 10 inches long, spike-like and branched, appressed or diverging to 30 degrees from the main axis. The axillary seedheads are borne on long stalks rising above the leaf sheaths. Spikelets are borne on short stalks and are purplish.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat  
Blade Notes: Flat blades are 3/4 to 7-3/4 inches long, 1/8 inch wide, rough or smooth. Blades on secondary branches are similar in length and width to those of the main branches.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Membranous and hairy
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Internodes are usually smooth but are sometimes covered with short stiff hairs below the nodes. Sheaths are smooth and somewhat longitudinally ridged. Tiny ligules are membranous and have a fringe of fine hairs.

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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