Muhlenbergia capillaris & Cultivars
The most well-known member of Muhlenbergia has to be Pink Muhly. A big planting of this grass stops traffic. Even people who aren’t familiar with ornamental grasses often know M. capillaris.
Pink Muhly is one of the widest ranging species of the genus. In production, it’s fairly consistent, although there may be variations in cold tolerance depending on provenance of the seed. It’s typically hardy to Zone 7, but there is hope that hardier selections can be found.
It happily adapts to a range of soils, has low water needs, and is tolerant of high salinity. Its native habitats are hot and dry, often leading to a build-up of salts in the soil. Pink muhly has adapted to handle the challenge.
Few cultivars of M. capillaris have come to market, perhaps because the species is so outstanding. However, the most common cultivar, M. capillaris ‘White Cloud’, does warrant additional praise. Soft white seed heads replace the pink of the species. The habit is more upright and open. And, ‘White Cloud’ blooms several weeks after Pink Muhly. By interplanting them, you can greatly extend bloom time for Muhly in your landscape, beginning with pink, blending into both, and ending with white. The blooms on both Muhlys persist well into winter, giving a real end-of-season show.