Muhly Grasses are a group of ornamental grasses which can serve as good native substitutes for exotic grasses, such as Miscanthus spp. Four species, M. lindheimeri (Lindheimer Muhly), M. capillaris (Gulf Muhly), M. dumosa (Bamboo Muhly), and M. rigens (Deergrass), are the principal species in the trade. They offer excellent drought and heat tolerances, interesting textures, and in some cases attractive flowers. Muhlenbergia capillaris has fine textured foliage and purple flowers. Muhlenbergia dumosa offers a growth form reminiscent of a small bamboo, while M. rigens and M. lindheimeri offer more rigid foliage and flower panicles. Most species require good drainage and perform better in regions with moderate to low rainfall. Cold tolerance varies from USDA zones 6 to 8 and most species can survive the heat of zones 9 or 10. Most are herbaceous perennials that die to the ground in winter, but some species may remain evergreen or semi-evergreen in warmer climates.
Plant Habit or Use:
sun, partial sun
White to purple, panicles in summer to fall.
Panicles of small grain-like seeds, sometimes effective into winter.
Variable by species, 2 ft to 5 ft (6 ft)
3 ft to 6 ft
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown
- Heat Tolerance: Non-Defined Heat Tolerance
- Water Requirements: Non-Defined Water Use
- Soil Requirements: Non-Defined Soil Requirements
- Pest Tolerance: Non-Defined Pest Resistance
- Fertility Requirements: Non-Defined Fertility Requirements
USDA Hardiness Zones:
6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains• Region B - North and Central Texas• Region C - Northeast and East Texas• Region D - West Texas• Region E - Upper Rio Grande• Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast• Region G - Southeast Texas• Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Not bothered by much diseases or insects, but may be prone to root/crown rots in poorly drained sites and constant high relative humidity.