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Plant - fall
Rimrock Verde Valley
John Kava
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Muhlenbergia porteri - bush muhly

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Plant - fall

Rimrock Verde Valley John Kava
Plant image

Rimrock Verde Valley John Kava
Plant image

Rimrock Verde Valley John Kava
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Grows among boulders on rocky slopes and on cliffs, and in dry arroyos, desert flats, and grasslands, frequently in the protection of shrubs.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 2000 - 6000 feet

General Description

Desc: Distinctly bushy in appearance. A large, weak stemmed, many branched, wiry perennial bunchgrass. Bush muhly originally existed in extensive stands on the open range lands of Arizona but now occurs for the most part in the protection of shrubs.
Identification notes: Tufted, wiry and freely branching perennial grass without rhizomes, bent at the base spreading widely; seedheads open or loose; branches naked at the base; glumes without hairs.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): Y
Height with Seedheads: 24 to 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - open and spreading  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Jul - Sep

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: Fine, many-branched, loosely drooping, purplish. During good years the very numerous seedheads give the entire plant a messy appearance.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat or folded  
Blade Notes: Blades 1 to 3 inches long, to 1/16 inch wide, usually rough.
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 shorter than the internodes, smooth; ligules to 1/4 inch, abruptly chopped off, torn or irregularly cleft, with lateral lobes.

Forage Value: Highly palatable and well liked by livestock despite the wiry seedhead stems.

  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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