Muhlenbergia arenicola Buckley
Family: Poaceae
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Russ Kleinman  

Plants perennial; cespitose, not rhizomatous. Culms (15)20-60(70) cm, somewhat decumbent, 1 or more nodes exposed; internodes hispidulous below the nodes. Leaves somewhat basally concentrated, most blades not reaching more than (1/4)1/2 of the plant height; sheaths usually a little shorter than the internodes, not keeled, scabridulous, margins hyaline, basal sheaths rounded, not becoming spirally coiled when old; ligules 2-9 mm, hyaline, acute, lacerate, often with lateral lobes; blades 4-10(16) cm long, 1-2.2 mm wide, not arcuate, flat, folded, or involute, scabrous, often glaucous, midveins and margins not thickened, green. Panicles 12-30 cm long, 5-20 cm wide, diffuse; primary branches 1-10 cm, diverging 30-80° from the rachises, naked basally; pedicels 1-4(6) mm. Spikelets 2.5-4.2 mm. Glumes equal, 1.4-2.5 mm, 1-veined, apices scabridulous, acute to acuminate, minutely erose, unawned or awned, awns to 1 mm; lemmas 2.5-4.2 mm, narrowly elliptic, usually purplish, scabrous distally, appressed-pubescent on the lower 1/2-3/4 of the margins and midveins, apices acuminate, awned, awns 0.5-4.2 mm; paleas 2.5-3.5 mm, narrowly elliptic, intercostal region sparsely pubescent, apices acuminate, with 2 short (0.1-0.2 mm) awns; anthers 1.5-2.1 mm, greenish. Caryopses 1.9-2.3 mm, fusiform, brownish. 2n = 80, 82.

Muhlenbergia arenicola grows on sandy mesas, limestone benches, and in valleys and open desert grasslands, at elevations of 600-2135 m. Its range extends from the southwestern United States to central Mexico. It also grows, as a disjunct, in northwestern Argentina.

FNA 2003, Gould 1980
Common Name: sand muhly Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Tufted perennial grass, stems 20-60 cm, somewhat decumbent, scabrous or puberulent in vicinity of the nodes. Vegetative: Blades firm, narrow, scabrous, usually glaucous, 4-10 cm long, 1-2.5 mm wide, usually folded to involute, midveins and margins green, not thickened; ligule 2-9 mm, hyaline, obtuse to acute, often split down center forming two lanceolate projections; sheat Inflorescence: Panicle 12-30 cm long, 5-20 cm wide, diffuse; primary branches spreading but branchlets and pedicels often somewhat appressed; spikelets 2.5-4 mm; glumes lanceolate, equal to each other in length, 2 mm long, 1-veined, one or both with delicate awn-tip; lemma 2.5-4 mm long, narrowly elliptic, purplish, with awn 1-4 mm long. Ecology: Found on sandy mesas, limestone benches, and in valleys and open desert grasslands, from 4,000-7,000 ft (1219-2134 m); flowers July-October. Distribution: n and se AZ, NM, se CO, w TX. s and s OK; south to c MEX. Notes: Muhlenbergia is a large and diverse grass genus primarily distinguished by having single-flowered spikelets with unequal glumes. M. arenicola is an erect, perennial bunchgrass with basal clumps of thin, rolled blades that are a little less than half the height of the plant (4-10 cm long); a sparse, open inflorescence 12-30 cm long, with few spikelets at the ends of the branches, generally with only one short-awned spikelet per pedicel. M. torreyi appears similar but in that species the basal leaf blades are much shorter, 1-5 cm long, only about one-fifth the height of the plant. M. arizonica is also similar, but has white, thickened margins and midveins on the leaf blades and a shorter ligule, 1-2 mm long. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Muhlenbergia is named for Gotthilf Heinrich Ernst Muhlenberg (1753-1815) a clergyman and botanist from Pennsylvania; arenicola means dweller on sand. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2014, AHazelton 2015
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Russ Kleinman  
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Russ Kleinman  
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Russ Kleinman  
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image
Muhlenbergia arenicola image