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Muhlenbergia rigens

Pronunciation: Muh-len-ber-jee-ah ree-genz
Family: Poaceae
Common Name: Deer grass
Plant Type:
  • grasses
  • perennial
Height to: 5'
Width to: 5'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Notes for Identification: Origin: dispersed widely over the southwestern united states and northern mexico between 2,500' and 7,000', california valleys west of the sierra nevada mountains hardiness zones sunset 7-24 usda 6 - 11 landscape use: best planted in groups as an accent for bank covers, rock gardens, transitional landscapes. Best used when viewed from a distance. Form & character: light, breezy, airy,  grass plant suggests movement of air, has a cooling, softening effect in the landscape. Growth habit: perennial bunch grass clumping to 3' to 5' in height with equal spread foliage/texture: dense tufts of narrow, linear dull gray-green leaves from 1. 5' to 6'long (1/8" wide), slightly wider than m. Capillaris, fine texture flowers & fruits: erect whip-like flower spike panicles to 3', florets light brown. Seeds extremely small, ie. 2. 5 million per pound. Seasonal color: flowering during late summer and autumn. Temperature: tolerant light: full sun soil: well drained watering: weekly to bi-weekly deep irrigations in summer will keep plants robust. Pruning: shear (only once per year in late winter) or burn to the ground in late winter or early spring to remove the copius production of thatch (dead and slow to decompose leaves because of the dry climate) and induce vigor. Propagation: division anytime, seed in fall and early winter disease and pests: none in central arizona, though air-borne fungi infect foliage in moister climates. Additional comments: medium sized popular bunch grass plant that has found a landscape niche as a substitute for the invasive pennisetum setaceum. Deer grass is larger, more vigorous and less refined than m. Capillaris. It's ultimate larger size in phoenix landscapes surprises most. Source: asu
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
Seed photo: 0
Located in: Grasses
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