Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Muhlenbergia frondosa (Poir.) Fernald
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: August-October
- Field Marks: This species differs from all other species of Muhlenbergia by its loose and
often open panicles, narrow, pointed glumes, bearded lemmas, and hairless internodes.
- Habitat: Moist woods, thickets, moist disturbed areas.
- Habit: Perennial herb from thick, scaly rhizomes.
- Stems: Sprawling to upright, much branched, often rooting at the lower nodes, up to 3 feet
long, with hairless internodes.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat, smooth, up to 1/3 inch wide.
- Rower: Borne in slender loose and often open panicles, terminal and axillary, the panicles
up to 4 inches long, up to 3/4 inch thick; spikelets 1-flowered, green to purplish, up to
1/6 inch long.
- Glumes: Lance-subulate, smooth, toothed along the keel, tapering to a slender point at the
tip, slightly unequal in size, up to 1/8 inch long.
- Lemmas: Lanceolate, long-pointed to awned at the tip, longer than the glumes, hairy at the
base, obscurely 3- to 5-nerved; awn when present 1/6-1/2 inch long.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Fruits: Grains about 1/10 inch long, smooth, more or less enclosed by the lemmas.
- Notes: This family is called Poaceae by Gleason and Cronquist.
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