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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

63. Poaceae, the Grass Family

18. Muhlenbergia Schreb. -- Muhly

1. Muhlenbergia asperifolia (Nees & Meyen) Parodi -- Alkali muhly


Low perennial with slender scaly rhizomes; culms usually decumbent, branching from the lower nodes, 1-5 dm long. Leaves strongly ascending, flat, rather short, mostly 2-5 cm long, 1-3 mm wide, pale green; sheaths glabrous, the ligule truncate, erose, 0.5-1 mm long. Panicle open and diffuse, ovoid to pyramidal, 5-15 cm long, about as wide when fully expanded, the filiform branches widely spreading, scabrous, sparsely flowered. Spikelets solitary on filiform pedicels, purplish or dark gray; glumes unequal to subequal, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, 1/2 to nearly as long as the floret; lemma ovate-lanceolate, narrowed to an acute to rounded tip, 1.2-1.8 mm long; anthers 0.6-1 mm long. Grain brown, ellipsoid, 1-1.2 mm long. Mid Jul--Sep. Wet meadows, seepage areas, shores and flats, often where alkaline or saline; common; (IN and IL to B.C., s to TX, CA and into Mex.).
GIF- Species Photo/Drawing
Muhlenbergia asperifolia (from Hitchcock 1950).

GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Leptochloa fascicularis (Lam.) A. Gray -- Bearded sprangletop
Return to Family -- Poaceae - The Grass Family
Next Section -- Muhlenbergia glomerata (Willd.) Trin. -- Bristly muhly

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