Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

MUHLENBERGIA rigens

Image of Muhlenbergia rigens

James H. Schutte

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

MUHLENBERGIA rigens

Plant Common Name

Deer Grass

General Description

In dry, hot climates where exotic ornamental grasses present an invasiveness problem, this is a rare safe and outstanding variety for beds and borders. Native to the Southwest U.S. from California to Texas and into Mexico, this large perennial species is found on hillsides, canyons, open forests, and high elevations. The fine, light green leaves are narrow and densely gathered into a beautiful, symmetrical clump. They dry to a wheat-straw color in fall and hold up well under winter snow.

Deer grass blooms in summer with narrow whip-like spikes held to head-height in an almost transparent cloud. This grass is particularly attractive under creative night lighting and in conjunction with dry stream beds.

Grow deer grass in full sun to partial sun on well-drained to dry soil. It will look and bloom best with a little moisture. There is no better grass for wild gardens to lend the look of wilderness at homes both urban and rural. In dry conditions it is not invasive and it is adapted to long periods of drought from late spring through the end of fall.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    0'-3' / 0.0m - 0.9m

  • Width

    0'-3' / 0.0m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Southwestern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes