Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Common Name
Pink Muhly Grass, Pink Hair Grass, Purple Muhly
CA Native
Plant Type
Grass or grass-like plant
4' x 3'
Flower Color
Bloom Time
  • Fall
Rich Green and Glossy
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Seed and Fruit for Birds
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Fall Color
  • Showy Flowers
Water Use
  • Drought Tolerant
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
Soil Type
Not Particular
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips



This fine, delicately airy grass springs up in its full beauty as summer is winding down.  This most ornamental of the muhly glasses, pink muhly produces a neat mound of green glossy foliage topped by masses of pink airy plumes that look as if airbrushed on.  Clump-forming to 4' high and 3' wide, with a lovely cascading, fountainous habit, this grass needs sunshine and good soil drainage but will grow in a variety of habitats and soil types, from rocky, clay soils or sandy.  It is extremely drought tolerant and can flourish in heat.  It is long-lived and impervious to pests and disease.

Master Gardener Comments

This gorgeous plant is low maintenance although it is best if cut back to about 2" in early spring.  In a month or so, new leaves appear.  Beautiful in masses, it will create a beautiful cloud of rosy color.  It's great for a little hedge ribbon of color.  Birds love it.  Propagate by seed, or by division in spring.  Look for a bank of it in front of the MMWD in Corte Madera.


'Lenca' - deep pink flowers

'White cloud' - a white form with whitish-tan blooms

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