Lindheimer muhly’s a native, ornamental clumping (or bunch) grass awarded Texas Superstar status. Dr. Brent Pemberton, of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, reports that this drought-tolerant species has been shown to perform outstandingly across a wide spectrum of climates and soils, making it well suited across Texas and beyond. And, it’s deer resistant!
Lindheimer muhly is considered a “medium water use” plant, especially in sandy soils, meaning that it requires regular watering when temperatures are elevated and rainfall is scarce.
But it’s also a valuable addition to rain gardens or seasonally wet areas to help stormwater infiltrate the soil.
It grows to about four feet wide and equally as tall, but will be about a foot taller when blooming in fall. Its characteristically narrow leaves, and feathery, swaying seed heads soften our landscapes, providing interest when many other plants are dormant.
Lindheimer muhly performs best in full sun, but tolerates light shade.
The native species has lovely pale-gray inflorescences, which are called panicles in grasses. Improved varieties with pale yellow and even reddish panicles are also available. One of the most popular is ‘Regal Mist,’ with deep pinkish-red flower spikes that develop in the late summer and add color to the garden into early winter, when most plants are going dormant and their color is fading.
In mild winters, it will be semi-evergreen, with warm golden brown hues, providing habitat for over-wintering butterflies. Cut back to about 6″ in late winter or early spring, when you begin to notice new growth emerging at the base.
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