Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Muhlenbergia asperifolia
alkali muhly, scratchgrass

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to the Great Plains.

Habitat: Dry to moist alkaline places.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Strongly rhizomatous, yellowish-green perennial, the culms solid, glabrous, 1-3 dm. tall.


Sheaths open; ligules truncate, 0.5-1 mm. long; blades flat, scabrous-margined, 1-2 mm. broad.


Inflorescence a large, open panicle, often half as long as the total height of the plant; spikelets usually 1-flowered, but occasionally 2-flowered; glumes nearly equal, puberulent on the keel, the first 1-nerved, about 1 mm. long, the second slightly wider; lemmas up to half again as long as the glumes, 3-nerved, minutely awn-tipped; palea slightly longer than the lemma, 2-nerved.

Accepted Name:
Muhlenbergia asperifolia (Nees & Meyen ex Trin.) Parodi
Publication: Revista Fac. Agron. Veterin. (Buenos Aires) 6: 117, f. 1. 1928.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Sporobolus asperifolius (Nees & Meyen ex Trin.) Nees & Meyen
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Muhlenbergia asperifolia in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Muhlenbergia asperifolia checklist entry

OregonFlora: Muhlenbergia asperifolia information

E-Flora BC: Muhlenbergia asperifolia atlas page

CalPhotos: Muhlenbergia asperifolia photos

15 photographs:
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