Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
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.).
Muhlenbergia asperifolia (from Hitchcock 1950).
Previous Section -- Leptochloa fascicularis (Lam.)
A. Gray -- Bearded sprangletop
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Trin. -- Bristly muhly