Muhlenbergia lindheimeri


Lindheimer muhly is a clump forming, tough, native Texas, perennial, warm season grass. Plants are semi-evergreen in warmer parts of our region, whereas in colder portions the foliage dies back to near ground level each winter. The rounded to fountain-shaped canopy is composed of long arching aqua-green to blue-green, strap-like, keeled leaves. From summer to fall the canopy is topped by 8 to 18 inch long narrow flower panicles that open with a hint of purple-red, turning silver-white to gray-white as they mature, and eventually light brown or gray-brown as seeds ripen. This graceful native of live oak savannahs and limestone outcrops offers an urban tolerant native substitute for the exotic dwarf pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) or Chinese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis). 

Exposure: Full sun is best, but plants will tolerate light shade.

Size: Height — Foliage is typically 3 to 4 feet tall with flower stalks extending an additional foot above the foliage. Spread — 3 – 5 feet

Plant type: warm season perennial bunchgrass

Planting time: Bloom occurs over a long time frame from summer to early fall, spent fruiting structures are limitedly effective into late fall or early winter.

Soil type: Lineheimer muhly adapts to soils with a wide range of pH and soil textures, but needs reasonable drainage.

Suggested uses: Highly versatile Lindheimer muhly serves effectively as a specimen grass, intermediate size screen, background plant for summer annuals, a component of mixed sunny borders, and in groups for erosion control. Lindheimer muhly provides a great softening element for harsh landscape structures. The plumes of flowers are also effective in fresh or dried cut flower arrangements.

Special notes: Hardy to Zone 7 and possibly Zone 6, Lindeimer muhly functions best when pruned back to within a few inches of the soil prior to resumption of new growth in spring. Plants are very responsive to available water and fertility, but also can exist on nutrient poor or droughty sites.

Additional information in the AgriLife Today article.