Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Muhlenbergia racemosa (Michx.) BSP.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: August-October
- Field Marks: The features that differentiate this muhly from others in the genus are the
contracted, spike-like panicles, the awned glumes, and the hairless internodes.
- Habitat: Prairies, rocky woods.
- Habit: Perennial herb from scaly rhizomes.
- Stems: Spreading to upright, sometimes branched, up to 3 1/2 feet tall, with hairless
- Leaves: Elongated, flat, rough along the edges, up to 1/3 inch wide.
- Flowers: Borne in narrow, contracted panicles, the panicles up to 6 inches long, up to
3/4 inch thick, green or purplish; spikelets 1-flowered, 1/6-1/3 inch long.
- Glumes: Linear-subulate, roughened, up to 1/3 inch long, awned at the tip.
- Lemmas: Lanceolate, pointed at the tip, awnless, up to 1/6 inch long, hairy at the base.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Fruits: Grains about 1/10 inch long, smooth, tightly enclosed by the lemmas.
- Notes: Gleason and Cronquist call this family Poaceae.
Previous Species -- Mexican Muhly (Muhlenbergia mexicana)
Return to Species List -- Group 2
Next Species -- Nimble-will (Muhlenbergia schreberi)