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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Muhlenbergia richardsonis - mat muhly

Synonyms: Muhlenbergia squarrosa

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Grows in open sites in often wet alkaline meadows, prairies, sandy arroyo bottoms, talus slopes, rocky flats and river banks. SEINET plant database shows 2 collections in pinyon-juniper.
Plant Communities: Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Riparian
Elevation: 7000 - 8700 feet

Similar Species: Muhlenbergia repens

General Description

Desc: Loose mat-forming grass with stems growing along the ground branching from a common root, shooting upward periodically.
Identification notes: Seedhead stems nodular-roughened, decumbent, not creeping; blades are less than 1/8 inch wide, short and usually in-rolled; seedheads narrow; spikelets on short pedicels (stems); prominent rhizomes.
Grass Type: Perennial mat or sod-forming  Rhizomes: Y  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: Absent   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead is 3/4 to 4 inches long, narrow, densely flowered, often interrupted, may be almost spike-like, branches short and appressed.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat or involute  
Blade Notes: Flat or edges rolled inward, <1/8 inch wide, <1/4 to 2 inches long, rough below.
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: Much branched, spreading by hard thin rhizomes and forming mats. Seedhead stems are wiry, erect or decumbent, several from a common base. Upper internodes are rough minute nodules.

Forage Value: Fair.

  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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