big blue muhly

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blue MUHLY
muhlenbergia lindheimeri
POACEAE

  • MODERATE WATER (terrace zone)

  • FULL SUN TO almost full SHADE

  • HARDY TO -10º F

  • TO ABOUT 4' TALL AND 5' WIDE

  • tan spikeS OVER FOLIAGE IN FALl

  • LARVAL HOST TO MANY BUTTERFLIES

  • LEAVES USED BY BIRDS FOR NEST-BUILDING

The trustworthy and dependable blue muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri) is a wonderful and under-appreciated mounding grass native to Texas, south into Mexico. 

Blue muhly grows to about 5 feet tall, and spreads about 4 feet wide. In fall, tan flowers/seed stalks hover over the mounds of grass. Plants may go dormant, or semi-dormant in winter, though usually still quite attractive. Sheer plants to about an inch or so from the ground to rejuvenate. This species is hardy to about -10º F and can take full sun to almost full shade. Moderate water is best though plants can take periods of drought well. 

This is a versatile and tough landscape plant, and is appreciated by nest-building birds and native bees, and seeds are appreciated by seed-eating birds. 

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Katherine Gierlach