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June Flora Spotlight:
Pink Muhly Grass,  Muhlenbergia capillaris 

Pink Muhly Grass
Muhlenbergia capillaris 

Several years ago I saw this grass in a mass planting and it took my breath away. The sun was backlighting it and the wind was blowing it like a pink ocean wave. It took a few years before I saw it again and now it has become more available in the nursery industry. 

This native is commonly called Pink Muhly Grass. It was named in honor of Gotthilf Heinrich Ernst Muhlenberg (1753-1815), a botanist who specialized in grasses. An accomplished botanist, chemist, and mineralogist, he is credited with classifying and naming 150 species of plants.

Muhlenbergia capillaris is a showy, clumping perennial grass that grows 3’ to 4' high and forms clumps 3’ – 4’ in diameter. It is impervious to pests and disease making this native a must-have in any low-maintenance garden. Given plenty of sunshine and good soil drainage Muhly easily withstands heat, humidity, drought, and poor soils. Ornamental grasses also provide home gardens with nesting sites, food, and cover for birds and other animals. Pleasing and unusual textures add interest in all four seasons.
As summer wanes, this grass starts its show with giant puffs of cotton-candy pink inflorescences. In mass plantings or as a standalone specimen it’s hard not take your eyes off of it. Cut to the ground in late winter or early spring to remove the brown leaves and spent flowers.

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