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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Foxtail Muhly - Muhlenbergia andina

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Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S2S3
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Threat Score: Unknown
C-value: 7

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Muhlenbergia andina occurs widely scattered in western and south-central Montana. It grows in damp places, but often with well-drained soils. It can be found along streams, in wet meadows and seeps, and around hot springs. The low number of collections in combination with limited habitat and/or specific micro-habitat characteristics indicates it is either rare, declining, or over-looked in floristic surveys. Current data on locations, population sizes, habitat, and threats is greatly needed to better assess its status in Montana.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Foxtail Muhly (Muhlenbergia andina) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 10/21/2019
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Range Extent

    ScoreF - 20,000-200,000 sq km (~8,000-80,000 sq mi)

    Comment41,832 square kilometers

    Area of Occupancy

    ScoreD - 6-25 4-km2 grid cells

    CommentPlant occurs in 12 of the 30,590 4x4 square-kilometer grid cells that cover Montana.

    Number of Populations

    ScoreB - 6 - 20

    Comment14 occurrences

    Environmental Specificity

    ScoreC - Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce

General Description
Perennial with well-developed rhizomes. Stems 30–80 cm tall, often loosely bunched. Leaves: blades 2–4 mm wide; ligule about 1 mm long. Inflorescence a spike-like panicle 5–13 cm long. Spikelets 2.5–3.5 mm long. Lemmas with an awn 3–9 mm long, callus hairs as long as the lemma (Lavin in Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Throughout much of the western half of the U.S. and southwestern Canada (Lavin in Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 15

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

Threats or Limiting Factors
Reported threats to Montana's populations of Foxtail Muhly (Muhlenbergia andina) are currently assigned as unknown. Potential threats due to human trampling need to be substantiated before a threat rank can be assigned (MTNHP Threat Assessment 2021).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Foxtail Muhly — Muhlenbergia andina.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from