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Products > Muhlenbergia rigens
 
Muhlenbergia rigens - Deer Grass
  

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Silver
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 4-5 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Drought Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: <15 F
Muhlenbergia rigens (Deer Grass) - This wonderful warm season California native bunch grass can grow 4-5 feet in height and spread over 6 feet wide with narrow leaves and long silver-gray flower panicles that arch gracefully 3 feet over the gray-green foliage. Extremely adaptable. Once established, Deer Grass can go the entire summer without water but it can also tolerate regular garden water which keeps the foliage nearly evergreen. Plant in full sun or partial shade. Deer grass is found naturally in well-drained soils in many plant communities below 7,000 feet from near the Oregon-California border south to Mexico and east to Texas. It is thought that this wide range may be because the plant was encouraged and managed using fire by native Americans who used the long flower stems in basketry. It is a great grass used in mass for height in a natural meadow or as a specimen used sparingly with native shrubs and is great natural habitat for attracting birds and butterflies into the garden. The German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber (1739-1810) named the genus for Gotthilf Heinrich (Henry) Ernst Muhlenberg (1753-1815) who was American born but returned to his ancestral Germany for schooling and later returned to America. He was an ordained Lutheran minister but devoted his free time to the study of the botany. The specific epithet is the Latin word for "rigid" or "stiff", likely in reference to the stiff stalks of the flowering stems.  This description is based on our research and observations of this plant as it grows in containers at our nursery, in our own garden and in other gardens. We also appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or have additional cultural tips that would aid others growing Muhlenbergia rigens .
 
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