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Products > Muhlenbergia sericea 'White Cloud'
 
Muhlenbergia sericea 'White Cloud' - White Awn Muhly
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: Southeast US (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Synonyms: [M. capillaris var. filipes, M. capillaris cv.]
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Muhlenbergia sericea 'White Cloud' (White Awn Muhly) - A medium-sized grass forming a clump of narrow blue-green foliage 2 to 3 feet tall and in fall the flower stems rise another foot or more above the foliage holding an airy mass of delicate ivory-white flowers that can last through winter depending on the climate. It is a little larger and stiffer with a more upright habit than the familiar Pink Muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris) and it also blooms a little later. Plant in full sun in a wide range of soils. It is fairly drought tolerant but this southeastern US grass will likely appreciate occasional irrigation in our dry California climate. Noted as hardy to USDA Zone 6 but flowers are apt to last through to spring in Zones 9 and above and it reportedly is resistant to deer predation. A great new grass for a stunning look in mass plantings and with its soft white flowers it combines well with many other plants. This plant was introduced by Superior Trees Nursery of Lee, Florida. We were fortunate to see a planting at John Greenlee's Pomona nursery garden in 2009. John shocked the crowd when he spoke about it at our 2010 open house (what we call Field Day). Our customers have been hounding us ever since and in 2012 we will finally have it. There has long been controversy regarding the Muhlenbergia capillaris in the trade and how it differs from the larger and more southerly restricted Muhlenbergia capillaris var. filipes, that more recently has been elevated to species level as Muhlenbergia sericea in the Flora of North America. We long suspected that 'White Cloud' better fit with this species and others are in agreement on this and so we now list this cultivar under this species. We also grow the large Gulf Muhly, 'Muhlenbergia sericea, that this plant is considered to be a selection of. 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 meaning "silky", in reference to this plants very soft open inflorescences.  The information on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in the San Marcos Growers library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in our nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we may have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Muhlenbergia sericea 'White Cloud'.
 
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