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Fall 2023

Shimmering pink muhly grass lights up the fall garden

Photo: Heather Paul
Photo: Heather Paul
Muhlenbergia capillaris, aka pink muhly grass, is a clump-forming perennial grass that puts on a show in the fall. Feathery flowers create clouds of pink – a stunning sight to behold, especially when massed and backlit. This easy-to-grow grass is native to prairies and open woodlands in the midwest, east, and southern states. It grows two to three feet tall and wide and blooms September to November. In summer it forms an attractive green mound. Muhlenbergia capillaris is a relative of our California native deer grass, Muhlenbergia rigens.

Muhly grass prefers sandy or rocky well-drained soil, full sun, and dry to medium-dry conditions. It performs in heat, humidity, and drought but will look better with some supplemental water. Muhly grass tolerates poor soil and tough conditions. For that reason, it is often used in challenging sites such as freeway medians and parking lots.

Check out the available muhly grass cultivars, each sporting its own personality -- and shade of pink.