Alphabetical Plant Listing

Muhlenbergia rigens (Deer Grass)

Deer Grass, Deergrass, Meadow Muhly, Deer Muhly, Epicampes rigens, Muhlenbergia marshii, Muhlenbergia mundula


Tidy and well-behaved, Muhlenbergia rigens (Deer Grass) is a warm season perennial grass forming a dense clump of slender pointed leaves, up to 3 ft. long (90 cm), ranging from bright green to pale silver-green. Upright at first, the leaves tend to arch as the season progresses producing an attractive fountain-like effect. They bleach to a light straw color in the fall and remain great-looking in milder winters. Slender yellow or purplish flower spikes rise up to 5 ft. (150 cm) in the fall, creating a dramatic display. Fast-growing, Deer Grass can reach maturity from seedling stage in two seasons and does not not reseed easily. It provides bird food, nesting material, and cover, as well as graze for mammals. This ornamental grass is commonly called deer grass, but deer generally avoid it. Robust, heat and drought tolerant, easy-care, this southwestern U.S. native is a great choice for water-wise and xeric gardens. Wonderful as a single specimen or when massed in drifts. The flower stems were used by many Native American tribes for coiled baskets.

  • Grows up to 3-5 ft. tall (90-150 cm) and 3-4 ft. wide (90-120 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun or light shade, in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Tolerates a wide range of soils, including clay, as long as they are well-drained. Adaptable, it does not need any supplementary water in summer once established, however, summer moisture keeps its bright green foliage fresh-looking. Drought tolerant.
  • Most effective in mass plantings or groupings in prairies and meadows, native plant gardens or naturalized areas. Can be used as a groundcover in dry spots or as a garden accent.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Attracts birds, butterflies but is deer resistant.
  • Cut back in late winter to early spring to encourage fresh new foliage to emerge.
  • Propagate by seed. No treatment is necessary.
  • Native to the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 10
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 60" (150cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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c) Gerhard Bock, SucculentsandMore.com

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 10
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 60" (150cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Ground Covers
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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