Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains
63. Poaceae, the Grass Family
18. Muhlenbergia Schreb. -- Muhly
2. Muhlenbergia glomerata (Willd.) Trin. -- Bristly muhly
Perennial 3-8 dm tall from stout scaly rhizomes; culms erect, unbranched
or branching from the base, the internodes dull, puberulent. Leaves flat,
mostly 6-12 cm long, 2-6 mm wide; sheaths glabrous, the ligule truncate,
erose-ciliate at the tip, 0.2-0.6 mm long. Panicle contracted, usually
densely flowered, glomerulate, often interrupted, (1)2-11 cm long, 4-10 mm thick.
Spikelets crowded and appressed in the glomerules, green or purplish;
glumes subequal, the first a little shorter than the second, subulate,
awned, the bodies 1.5-3 mm long, the awn 1-5 mm long, both glumes (including
the awns) much surpassing the floret, 1.3-2X as long as the lemma; lemma
lanceolate, acuminate or rarely short-awned, 2-3 mm long, pilose on the callus,
pubescent along the margins nearly to the tip; anthers 0.8-1.5 mm long.
Grain brown to dark brown, oblong, 1-1.2 mm long. Aug--Sep. Wet meadows,
springs, fens and boggy areas; uncommon from c and e ND to n NE; (Newf. and
Que. to N.W.Terr. and B.C., s to WV, IN, IA, NE, CO, UT and OR).
The segregation of M. glomerata from the much more common M. racemosa
is supported by cytological and ecological evidence, as well as morphological
evidence. The diploid M. glomerata is restricted to permanently wet
habitats whereas the tetraploid M. racemosa occurs in a variety of
upland as well as lowland habitats.
Previous Section -- Muhlenbergia asperifolia (Nees
& Meyen) Parodi -- Alkali muhly
Return to Family -- Poaceae - The Grass
Next Section -- Muhlenbergia mexicana (L.) Trin.
-- Wirestem muhly