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Pine Muhly

Muhlenbergia dubia

Muhlenbergia dubia at the UC Davis Arboretum. Photo: SK Reid.
Muhlenbergia dubia at the UC Davis Arboretum. Photo: SK Reid.


This gray-green clumping grass is native to the southwestern U.S. and into northern Mexico. It strongly resembles the California native deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) but is about half the size. There were no significant differences in growth  or appearance between the irrigation treatments, making this a versatile plant for the landscape. In our trial it was irresistible to rabbits during the first year until we successfully excluded them from the field.

Plants were attractive year-round, and we recommend shearing down quite low every couple of years in late February or early March, as soon as the first signs of new growth can be seen. This will ensure a tidy appearance without sacrificing flowering. This species performed very well in all the UC Master Gardener demonstration gardens where it was grown.

Basic Info

Submitted by: UC Davis Arboretum
Trial Exposure: Sun
Year evaluated: 2009
Height & Width
(after 2 years):
30" x 58" - UC Davis
Reported Height & Width
(at maturity):
2-3' x 2-3'
WUCOLS plant type: G A
Water Needs & WUCOLS Region:
Low - Region 2 
Mean Overall 
Appearance rating:
(1-5 Scale, 5 is highest)
4.3 - UC Davis 
Flowering Months
July-September - UC Davis

Growth and Quality Data

Click Here for Complete Data Set