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Bush Muhly

Muhlenbergia porteri

Details & Attributes


Plant Type(s) Grass
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun, partial shade
Has Spines No
Size
In relative feet, width by height
1-3' × 1-4'
Freeze Tolerant No
Flowering Season August-November
Flower Color Pink
Minimum Temperature Range 10-15 °F
Leaf Description Sheaths point away from stems, one of the few grasses which branches aboveground
Fruit Tan with a long awn (stiff terminal hairs)
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Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Elevation Range 2000-6000 ft.
Ethnobotany Good desert tortoise forage.
Description Bush muhly is fairly understated most of the year, often appearing as a tangled mass of dry stems and leaves tucked under the covering of mesquite (Prosopis velutina) or other shrubs. This species occurs across western, central, and southern Arizona on rocky or sandy, well draining soils on slopes or wash margins. When (if) the rains come in the summer then this species springs to life, greening up and developing loose sprays of pinkish seedheads. These masses of densely branched grass plants are truly gorgeous, and this is one of the best grasses for arid gardens, as long as you are willing to accept the portion of the year where bush muhly is dormant.