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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Wirestem Muhly - Muhlenbergia mexicana

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Not Documented

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status


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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Muhlenbergia mexicana has not been documented in Montana. A 2001 specimen was re-determined to be Muhlenbergia glomerata, which closely resemble one another. No Montana specimens have been verified (MTNHP Status Review in 2018). There is potential for it to occur in Montana. Potential specimens should be provided to and verified at one of our State Herbaria (University of Montana, Montana State University, or Montana State University-Billings). A conservation status rank is not applicable (SNA) because this plant is not known to occur in Montana.
General Description
This is adapted from A Utah flora-Second Edition (Welsh et al. 1993).

PLANTS: Perennials from long, scaly rhizomes. Stems 30-100 cm tall, ascending to erect, branching from middle and above.

LEAVES: Leaf sheaths mostly glabrous; blades lax, flat, 4-15 cm long, 1.5-6 mm wide, scaberulous; ligules 0.4-1.5 mm long, truncate to acute. Panicles 3-21 cm long, 2-12 mm wide, terminal and axillary, narrow, often interrupted and partially included in uppermost sheath; branches mostly erect, spikelet-bearing through-out. Callus hairs 0.2-1.5 mm long. Spikelets 2-4.4 mm long, one-flowered, pale green or purple-tinged. Glumes subequal, 2-4.4 mm long, 1-nerved, the midnerves extending into an awn 0.5-1.5 mm long; lemmas 2-3.8 mm long, 3-nerved, awned to about 6 mm long; paleas about length of lemma; anthers 0.3-0.5 mm long.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Muhlenbergia glomerata and Muhlenbergia racemosa are similar species that are known to occur in Montana.

Potential specimens should be reported and confirmed by one of our State Herbaria:
University of Montana, Montana State University, or Montana State University-Billings

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Welsh, S.L, N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L.C. Higgins. 1993. A Utah Flora. 2nd edition, revised. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 986 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Brey, C.W. 1998. Epidemiology of wheat curl mite (Aceria tosichella K.) and wheat streak mosaic virus on feral grass species and effect of glyphosate on wheat curl mite dispersal. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 136 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • 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.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Wirestem Muhly"
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Citation for data on this website:
Wirestem Muhly — Muhlenbergia mexicana.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from