Muhlenbergia tenuiflora (Willd.) Britt.

slender muhly

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Slender muhly is mainly a species of southern New England, although it extends north into western Vermont. It is typically found in oak- (Quercus) and hickory- (Carya) dominated deciduous forests.

Habitat

Forests, ridges or ledges, woodlands

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
Leaf blade width
4–15 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
2.6–4.5 mm
Glume relative length
neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
Awn on glume
the glume has an awn
One or more florets
there is one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
0–12 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
Leaf ligule length
0.4–1.2 mm
Anther length
1.1–2.2 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    1.1–2.2 mm
    Anther number
    3
    Awn on glume
    the glume has an awn
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is thin and flexible
    Glume relative length
    neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
    Glume veins
    • 1
    • 3
    Inflorescence arrangement
    the spikelets are uniform
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    • the inflorescence axis is arched or curved outward
    • the inflorescence axis is straight
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence crowding
    the panicle is somewhat to very congested (crowded), and the branches may not be clearly seen without close inspection
    Inflorescence length
    100–330 mm
    Inflorescence type (general)
    the spikelets are borne on stalks or on branches
    Inflorescence type (specific)
    the inflorescence is branched, and the branches do NOT both grow from the same side of the plant AND look like spikes
    Lemma awn base
    the awn is attached right at the tip of the lemma
    Lemma awn length
    0–12 mm
    Lemma awn number
    • the lemma has no awn
    • the lemma has one awn on it
    Lemma base hairs
    the lemma has hairs at the base
    Lemma cross-section
    the lemma is flat or rounded if you cut across the midpoint
    Lemma surface
    the surface of the lemma is relatively smooth (not counting any longitudinal veins or hairs)
    Lemma vein number
    3
    One or more florets
    there is one floret per spikelet
    Palea relative length
    palea is one half to fully as long as lemma
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is no extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet length
    2.6–4.5 mm
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
    Upper glume shape
    the upper glume is widest at or below the middle
  • Fruits or seeds
    Seed length
    2–2.3 mm
  • Growth form
    Rhizomes
    yes
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    4–15 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    0.4–1.2 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of a membrane with fine hairs
    Leaf sheath closed around stem
    the margins of the leaf sheath are overlapping and not fused together except in the basal half (or less)
    Leaf sheath hair type
    there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    Leaf sheath hairs
    • there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    • there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • forests
    • ridges or ledges
    • woodlands
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Roots at lower stem nodes
    no
    Stem hairs
    the stem has hairs on it
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow singly or a few together (they may form diffuse colonies)

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
New Hampshire
historical (S-rank: SH), endangered (code: E)
Vermont
uncommon (S-rank: S3)

var. tenuiflora

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Synonyms

  • Agrostis tenuiflora Willd.

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Muhlenbergia

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

11.  Muhlenbergia tenuiflora (Willd.) B.S.P. N

slender muhly. Agrostis tenuiflora Willd. • CT, MA, NH, VT; primarily southern New England, extending northward only in western VT; also reported from RI by George (1992), but specimens are unknown. Deciduous woodlands and forests, usually those dominated by Quercus and/or Carya, shaded ledges.