Meet Muhlenbergia – a Fall Princess

We would like to introduce you to Muhly Grass, Muhlenbergia species. This genus of grasses started coming to light when the drought hit several years ago. It is still a lesser known plant in general and is shamefully underused in our opinion.

Grasses are hardy additions to any space. They are great for adding a touch of seasonality, especially here in the Central Valley when everything else tired from the summer. Grasses are also great for soil stabilization, cover for wildlife and they add beautiful movement to the landscape.

Muhlenbergia grasses are known for their cloud-like blooms that start showing up in the late summer. These blooms last for months! This grass doesn’t seem to be itchy or irritate allergies either. Of the height range of ornamental grasses, they are mid-range in height with the blooms which makes them applicable to many spaces.

Planting location & care: Plant Muhly grasses in masses for best effect. They take full sun, well-drained soil and are very drought tolerant once established. They take very little care, just a pruning once a year. For more information on pruning, see this article.


Here are our favorite varieties:


Undaunted Seep Muhly

Undaunted Muhlenbergia in bloom
Photo credit: Mountain States Wholesale Nursery

Deer resistant. Handles wide range of soils. Grows 2-3′ tall and 2′ wide.



Nashville Muhly

Nashville Muhlenbergia in bloom
Photo credit: Mountain States Wholesale Nursery

Herbaceous variety. Grows 2′ tall and wide. Blooms are purple-tan spikes that age to light color and more tassel-like.


Pine Muhly

Photo credit: Mountain States Wholesale Nursery

A petite version of Deer Grass. Stiff, upright leaves are more tidy and formal than other grasses. Blooms are narrow, tan and more rod-like than other Muhly grasses. Requires good drainage. Grows 2 1/2′ tall and wide.

El Toro Bull Grass

Photo credit: Mountain States Wholesale Nursery

Grows 2′ tall and 2-3′ wide. Naturally grows in dense colonies. Leave are blue-green, wider and longer than other Muhly grasses. One of the most drought tolerant Muhlenbergias. Handles shade and almost any soil too. Rosy-purple blooms rise up in the fall and are more broom like, similar to Pampas grass for which it would be a great substitution.


Pink Flamingo Muhly

Photo credit: Mountain States Wholesale Nursery

Grows 4-5′ tall and 2-3′ wide. Large, flashy tassels of pink, rise above narrow, blue green leaves. Definitely the showiest of the Muhly grasses. Deer resistant.

If you would like to read more about Muhlenbergias, we recommend visiting