Content Detail

Pink muhly is an annual grass in northern Illinois, but it may be worth planting for the showy display of flowers very late in the season (October). The fine foliage grows 2 to 3 feet tall during the season and the plant sends up sprays of tiny pink flowers in the fall.  

  • Family (English) Grass
  • Family (botanic) Poaceae
  • Tree or plant type Grass
  • Native locale Illinois, North America
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink
  • Shape or form Upright

Size and Form:

Pink muhly is an upright to slightly mounded grass. It will grow up to 3 feet tall.

Native geographic location and habitat:

Native to the southern United States and up into the southern tip of Illinois.

Leaf description:

The dark green leaves are very narrow and range from 2 to 4 feet long.

Flower description:

Numerous, tiny pink to pinkish-purple flowers are held in delicate panicles high above the foliage and are extremely showy. Flowers are produced very late in the season (October).  

Fruit description:

The small fruit (caryopsis or grains) form along the panicles that held the flowers.

Plant care:

This plant grows well in full sun and it is salt tolerant. It does well in sites that are moist, but can also tolerate some dryness. This is a warm season grass, so its most active growth occurs in summer.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

No serious problems.

Regal Mist® pink muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris ‘Lenca’):

Flowers are a deeper pink.

White Cloud muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris ‘White Cloud’):

This cultivar has white flowers.


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