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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

4. Muhlenbergia racemosa (Trin.) Rydb. -- Marsh muhly, green muhly


Similar to M. glomerata but often more robust, 3-10 dm tall; culms erect to decumbent, unbranched or more commonly branched from the middle nodes; internodes smooth and shiny, sometimes puberulent-roughened near the summit. Leaves flat, 3-17 cm long, 2-5 mm wide; sheaths glabrous, the ligule truncate, erose-ciliate, 0.6-1.5 mm long. Panicle contracted and often lobed, sometimes interrupted in the lower portion, 3-13 cm long, 3-12 mm thick. Spikelets crowded and appressed in oblong to obovoid glomerules, green or purplish; glumes subequal, subulate to an awned tip, the bodies 1.5-3 mm long, the awns 1.5-3.5 mm long, both glumes (including the awns) much surpassing the floret; lemma lanceolate, 2.5-3.8 mm long, tapered to a sharp or minutely awned tip, pilose on the lower 1/2 and on the callus; anthers 0.5-0.8 mm long. Grain brown, oblong, 1.5-2 mm long. Late Jul--Sep(Oct). Wet meadows, shores, stream banks and also in disturbed upland habitats, often where shady; common; (Ont. to Alta. and WA, s to IN, IL, MO, OK, NM and NV).
GIF- Species Photo/Drawing

Muhlenbergia racemosa (from Hitchcock 1950).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Muhlenbergia mexicana (L.) Trin. -- Wirestem muhly
Return to Family -- Poaceae - The Grass Family
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