Pink Muhly Grass
Muhlenbergia capillaris 'Pink'
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Muhlenbergia capillaris, commonly called pink muhly grass or pink hair grass, is a clump-forming, warm season, perennial grass that is noted for its attractive summer foliage and spectacular clouds of fall flowers. It is native to prairies, pine barrens, and open woodlands from Massachusetts to Kansas south to Florida and Texas. In Missouri, it most frequently occurs in acidic soils in open woods, glades or openings along roads primarily in central Ozark and western areas south of the Missouri River (see Steyermark). Glossy, wiry, thread-like, dark green leaves and stems form an attractive basal clump to 2’ tall. It is the fall flowering, however, that most distinguishes this grass. Masses of airy, open, loosely branched inflorescences (each to 12” long) in pink to pinkish-red float above the foliage in a lengthy fall bloom. Tan seed plumes remain attractive in winter. Plants typically grow to 3’ tall x 3’ wide when in flower.
Genus name honors Gotthilf Henry Ernest Muhlenberg (1753-1815), Lutheran pastor in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., distinguished amateur botanist. Specific epithet means fine or hair-like. Its delicate pink plume seed heads appear in late summer and completely envelop the foliage. Plant en masse, in a patio container or place them between shrubs in the landscape. This beautiful ornamental grass is stunning in dried floral arrangements.