Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Muhlenbergia capillaris (Lam.) Trin.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: September-October
- Field Marks: This muhly grass is readily recognized by its widely open panicle and its
- Habitat: Rocky woods, clearings.
- Habit: Tufted perennial without rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, branched or unbranched, slender, smooth, up to 3 feet tall.
- Leaves: Elongated, rolled inward, up to 1/6 inch wide, smooth or rough to the touch;
sheaths smooth or slightly rough to the touch.
- Flowers: Many borne in a widely spreading panicle up to 1 1/2 feet long, the branches of the
panicle thread-like; spikelets 1-flowered, purplish, up to 1/5 inch long; stalks much longer than
- Glumes: Ovate-lanceolate, pointed at the tip, up to 1/6 inch long.
- Lemmas: Narrow, rough to the touch, up to 1/5 inch long, with a thread-like awn up to 1
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Fruits: Grains narrowly ellipsoid, smooth.
- Notes: This family is called Poaceae by Gleason and Cronquist. Some authors ascribe three
varieties to this species and it appears in several recent texts.
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