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Meet the Natives: Muhly Grass

October 27, 2021

An exciting indicator of the arrival of cooler weather is the emergence of muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) flowers. The native range of muhly grass extends throughout the Southeast and naturally occurs in the coastal uplands and pine flatwood habitats of Florida. It is a popular addition to native landscapes in Southwest Florida because it requires little maintenance and no irrigation while providing habitat, a source of seeds for birds, and excellent groundcover.

This perennial grass reaches up to three feet tall and produces flower stalks that extend above the fine-textured, dark green foliage in the fall and early winter. These wispy, reddish-purple flowers provide striking fall color when planted singly or in large groups. Muhly grass performs best when planted in areas with full sun and dry to moist soils. Its clumping habit provides cover for wildlife and birds eat the tiny seeds it produces during the fall and winter months.


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