Wirestem muhly

Muhlenbergia frondosa

Wirestem muhly is a creeping, sod-forming perennial grass, characterized by a leafy, bushy appearance resulting from a freely-branching growth habit. It reproduces by seeds and rhizomes (horizontal underground stems). Plants can expand by producing new shoots (tillers) from the base of existing stems, and through stolons (horizontal stems at the surface of the ground that root at the nodes).
Root system - Wirestem muhly produces very scaly, short, thick, creeping rhizomes (horizontal underground stems) near the soil surface. Fibrous roots are produced from the joints (nodes) of the rhizomes.
Stems - The leafy stems (2 to 3 1/2 feet long) can be erect or sprawling, almost horizontal to the ground. Stems are smooth, stiff, wiry, round and many-branched, with branching branches. They are sometimes purplish in color. Reclining stems can root at the nodes.
Leaves - Leaves are rolled in the bud. The pale green leaves are produced along the stems, but are densest near the tips, giving the plant a bushy look. The leaf blade (free part of the leaf) is relatively short (1 to 4 inches long, 1/4 to 1/3 inch wide), flat and somewhat blunt-tipped. The upper and lower surfaces of the blade are hairless and usually rough. Leaf margins are rough. The leaf sheath (part of the leaf surrounding the stem) is smooth and rounded, with overlapping margins. The ligule (projection inside on the top of the sheath) is membranous, jagged and short (1/25 inch long). Auricles (appendages at the top of the sheath) are absent.
Flowers - Small flowers are densely arranged in a narrow, branched flower head (1 1/2 to 4 inches long, 1/3 inch wide). Flower heads are produced at the ends of stems and in the axils of most leaves, remaining partially protected in the leaf sheath. Flowers change from soft green to brown-purple as they mature.
Fruits & Seeds - The light brown seeds are approximately 1/16 inch long.

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