Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Muhlenbergia mexicana (L.) Trin.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: August-October
- Field Marks: This muhly is distinguished by its stiff, narrowly cylindrical spike-like panicles,
its hairy lemmas, its finely hairy internodes, and its often purplish spikelets.
- Habitat: Moist soil, along shores, fens.
- Habit: Perennial herb from scaly rhizomes.
- Stems: Spreading to upright, much branched, rooting at the lower nodes, up to 3 feet tall,
with finely hairy internodes.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat, up to 1/3 inch wide, smooth.
- Flowers: Borne in slender, contracted panicles, the panicles up to 10 inches long, up to
1/2 inch thick, green or purplish; spikelets 1-flowered, often purplish, up to 1/6 inch long
(excluding the awn).
- Glumes: Narrowly lanceolate, tapering to an awn-like tip, smooth, nearly equal, up to
1/6 inch long.
- Lemmas: Lanceolate, tapering to a point at the tip, or with an awn up to 1/2 inch long,
hairy at the base.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Fruits: Grains about 1/16 inch long, smooth, tightly enclosed by the lemmas.
- Notes: Gleason and Cronquist call this family Poaceae.
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