Friends of the Port St Lucie Botanical Gardens
CALL US +1.772.337.1959

Muhly Grass

Muhlenbergia capillaris

  • Common Name: Muhly Grass
  • Scientific Name: Muhlenbergia capillaris
  • Family Name: Poaceae
  • Origin: Native to Florida and the eastern half of the United States.
  • Height: 3’ – 5’
  • Width: 2’ – 3’
  • Growth: Moderate.
  • Zone: 7A - 11
  • Light Needs: Full sun – partial shade.
  • Salt Tolerance: Moderate.
  • Soil/PH/Texture: Prefers sandy or rocky, well-drained soil, but can grow in sand, loam, and clay, acidic – alkaline (pH 5.6 – 8.5).
  • Soil Moisture: Dry to medium but can tolerate extended flooding.
  • Drought Tolerance: High, extreme tolerance to drought, flooding, and air pollution.
  • Pests/Diseases: There are no known pests or disease problems.
  • Growing Conditions: It is virtually maintenance free except you might want to remove the brown foliage in the spring by cutting the clump back to the ground before new growth emerges. It is also known to naturalize.
  • Characteristics: An upright plant that is a semi-evergreen with green leaves, 18” – 36’” in length, simple, margins that are entire, linear in shape with parallel venation. It has showy almost fairy-like, fluffy pink/mauve/magenta flowers or inflorescence that appear in the fall, and fruit that are tan seed plumes, less than .5” and are oval.
  • Propagation: By seed or division of the root ball.
  • Wildlife: This plant is deer resistant but is wonderful for wildlife such as songbirds that eat the seeds and use the dead stems for building their nests. It also creates a shelter for tiny creatures including the butterfly, who use it for protection at night or during rainstorms.
  • Facts: Winter interest because of unusual form, persistent fruits and showy winter flowers and trunk.
  • Designer Considerations:  Can be used as a reclamation or erosion control, cut flowers, border, roadside, residential, accent, mass planting, ground cover, and because of its tolerance of flooding and salt it is well suited for wetland and beachfront landscapes and by its tolerance of drought for xeriscaping. You can also plant them in large, sweeping drifts on a large landscape for a dramatic effect, or even in a 3 gallon or larger pot for your patio (needs repotting every 2-3 years).

Muhly Grass

Location