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Muhlygrass, Hairawn muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Accent grass or groundcover. Wildflower gardens.

Availability: Widely cultivated. Available in Boynton Beach at Sustaincape Florida (561-245-5305), in Lake Worth at Indian Trails Native Nursery (561-641-9488) and at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296).

Description: Medium to large herbaceous grass with wiry leaves.

Dimensions: Typically 2-3 feet in height; to 5 feet when in flower. About as broad as tall, except when in flower.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Widespread in much of eastern and central North America south to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies, Mexico and Central America. Rare in the Monroe County Keys, very rare in the upper Keys and very rare or absent in the middle Keys.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Pinelands, marl prairies and marshes.

Soils: Wet to moist, seasonally inundated freshwater or brackish soils, without humus.

Nutritional Requirements: Low to moderate; it can grow in nutrient poor soils or soils with some organic content.

Salt Water Tolerance: Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without significant injury.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: Purple inflorescence.

Flower Characteristics: Showy when at peak.

Flowering Season: Summer-winter; peak in fall.

Fruit: Inconspicuous caryopsis.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides excellent cover for small wildlife.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed or divisions.

References: Nelson 2003

Comments: See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday page.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Miramar Pineland Natural Area,
Broward County, Florida

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist

Other data on Muhlenbergia capillaris available from:

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