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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

Muhlenbergia Schreb. -- Muhly

Solitary or tufted perennials, many producing creeping, scaly rhizomes; culms erect or decumbent at the base, often branching from the nodes; leaf blades rather short relative to width, scabrous; sheaths often not overlapping, the internodes exposed; ligules membranous. Inflorescence usually a narrow, contracted, spikelike panicle (open and diffuse in M. asperifolia), terminal, sometimes axillary panicles also produced. Spikelets 1-flowered, disarticulating above the glumes, the glumes remaining after the florets have fallen; glumes unequal to subequal, keeled or rounded on the back, acute to acuminate or awned from the tip, 1-nerved; floret equal to or exceeding one or both glumes (excluding awns, if present); lemma ovate-lanceolate or narrowly lanceolate, acute to acuminate, rarely awned, strongly 3-nerved, pilose at the base in some spp.; palea nearly as long as the lemma, 2-nerved.

Pohl, R. W.  1969. Muhlenbergia subgenus Muhlenbergia (Gramineae) 
     in North America.  Amer. Midl. Naturalist 82:512-542.
Lead Characteristic Go To
1 Panicle open and diffuse, about as broad as long, the filiform branches widely spreading. M. asperifolia
1 Panicle narrow and contracted, the branches short, ascending to appressed. Lead 2
2 Leaf blades usually involute, 0.2-1 mm wide; panicles few-flowered, not glomerulate. M. richardsonis
2 Leaf blades flat, 2-6(8) mm wide; panicle usually densely flowered and glomerulate. Lead 3
3 Glumes awned, much surpassing the floret; anthers 0.5-1.5 mm long. Lead 4
3 Glumes acuminate or short-awned, usually not to shortly surpassing the floret; anthers 0.3-0.5 mm long. M. mexicana
4 Internodes of the culm mostly smooth and shiny; main culms usually branched above; anthers 0.5-0.8 mm long; ligules 0.6-1.5 mm long. M. racemosa
4 Internodes of the culm puberulent and dull; main culms unbranched or branched from the base; anthers 0.8-1.5 mm long; ligules 0.2-0.6 mm long. M. glomerata

63. Poaceae, the Grass Family
18. Muhlenbergia Schreb. -- Muhly
1. Muhlenbergia asperifolia (Nees & Meyen) Parodi -- Alkali muhly
2. Muhlenbergia glomerata (Willd.) Trin. -- Bristly muhly
3. Muhlenbergia mexicana (L.) Trin. -- Wirestem muhly
4. Muhlenbergia racemosa (Trin.) Rydb. -- Marsh muhly, green muhly
5. Muhlenbergia richardsonis (Trin.) Rydb. -- Mat muhly

Return to Family -- Poaceae - The Grass Family
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