Muhlenbergia capillaris, Hair-awn or Pink Muhly

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

The thin blades of this spectacular species droop at the tips to form a fine textured skirt for the airy, rosy-red plumes displayed in a spherical crown. The genus name of this plant honors Henry Muhlenberg whose study of plants earned him distinction as America’s first outstanding botanist.

Print Version: Muhlenbergia capillaris, Hair-awn or Pink MuhlyMuhlenbergia capillaris (Hair-awn or Pink Muhly), Grass / Sedge Height: 2–3 feet Spread: 2–3 feet Bloom Color: Pinkish-red Characteristics Clumping perennial grass with a rounded crown Low tufts of glossy green arching blades Airy rosy-red plumes September to November Russet to tawny autumn color Tan seed plumes persist in winter Attributes Tolerates poor soil, drought, flooding, heat, humidity, air pollution, salt, and Black Walnut No serious pests or diseases; deer rarely damage Tough and very adaptable Multi-season interest Attracts beneficial insects like lady beetles; pro- vides cover for birds and perching places for butterflies Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Well-drained Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Dry, Moist Propagate by division in spring Use as an accent or screen or en masse in mixed borders or in beachfront or meadow gardens *It is native to DC and to Montgomery County, MD. It is historical in the Piedmont of DE and extirpated in PA. In VA, it is rare in the Coastal Plain, infrequent in the mountains and infrequent to locally common in the Piedmont, where it is native to NoVA in Fairfax County. Hardiness: USDA Zones 5–9 Excellent Replacement for Pennisetum setaceum - Fountain Grass

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets