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Montana Field Guides

Mountain Muhly - Muhlenbergia montana

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Undetermined Origin

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

Agency Status


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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Reported for Montana (Dorn 1984). One collection of the species is at MONT though no location data is available on the specimen label beyond that it supposedly came from Montana. It would seem doubtful that the species occurs in Montana as its primary distribution is from southern WY to UT, AZ, CO, NM and west TX (Kartez 2009).
General Description
Plants perennial, cespitose. Culms 10-80 cm, erect, rounded near the base, internodes glabrous. Sheaths smooth or scabridulous, becoming flattened, papery,and occasinally spirally coiled when old, lower sheaths longer than the internodes. Ligules 4-14(-20) mm, membranous, acute to acuminate. Leaf blades 6-25 cm long, 1-2.5 mm wide, scabrous below, hirsute above. Panicles 4-25 cm long, up to 6 cm wide; primary branches 05-10 cm, appressed or diverging up to 40 degrees from the rachises; pedicels 0.5-6.5 mm long, scabrous. Spikelets 3-7 mm long. Glumes subequal, (1-)1.5-3.2(-4) mm long, smooth or scabridulous distally; lower glumes 1-veined, sometimes with an awn 1 mm long or less; upper glumes about 1/3-2/3 length of lemmas, 3-veined, truncate to acute. Lemmas 3-4.5(7) mm long, lanceolate, loosely to densely appressed-pubescent on lower portion of the midveins and margins, hairs to 0.8 mm, apices acute to acuminate, awns (2)6-25 mm long, flexuous. Anthers 1.5-2.3 mm long. Caryopses 1.8-2.2 mm, fusiform, light brown (from Peterson, 2003, Fl. North America, Vol. 25).

Range Comments
CA, UT, WY, CO, AZ, NM, TX (Kartesz 2009).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 9

(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)

Rocky slopes, dry meadows, dry gravelly flats in forest openings and grasslands, 2500-3500 m (Peterson 2003).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Mountain Muhly — Muhlenbergia montana.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from