Plant Image
Plant - fall
Casner Canyon, NE of Sedona
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Muhlenbergia fragilis - delicate muhly

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Plant image
Seedhead - fall
Casner Canyon, NE of Sedona
Plant image
Casner Canyon, NE of Sedona
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Moist sandy or gravelly soil of valley flats and on dry slopes.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 2400 - 6500 feet

General Description

Desc: Delicate annual grass small with most of the plant being seedhead (approx. 2/3-3/4) often purple.
Grass Type: Annual  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Leaf Arrangement: Leaves basal and erect  Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: 12 to 24 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - open and spreading  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Aug - Oct

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: One-flowered  Spikelet Arrangement: End of branches
Awns: Absent   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead often purple, very open and readily breaking off at maturity, up to 20cm long or more, very wide-spreading, diffuse and fragile. Spikelets 1 mm long, glumes 1/2 length of spikelets, 1 nerved, not hairy. Lemmas silky (hairy) on keel and margin.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: Y  Blade Cross Section: Flat or folded  
Blade Notes: Blade 3/4-2 1/4 inches long, 1-2 mm wide, thickened white margins and white mid-nerve.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths often longer than the internodes, slightly rough, margins colorless and translucent; ligules 1-3 mm, colorless and translucent, blunt or rounded, irregularly toothed to torn or irregularly cleft, with lateral lobes.

Forage Value: None.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 3.1  
Last Updated: June 15, 2013  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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