UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Water Wise Plants

Muhlenbergia emersleyi

muh-len-BER-jee-ah e-MERS-lee-eye
Common Name
Bull Grass
Plant Type
Mature Size
1 1/2 ft tall and 3 - 4 ft wide
Water Requirements
Low: water every three weeks until the root ball is wet
Sun/Shade Requirements
Full to half sun
Flower Color
No flowers
Maintenance- Design- Planting Tips

Muhlenbergia emersleyi is a wonderful grass to include in perennial flower beds because it doesn't get too big. In the late summer and fall this grass has attractive reddish flower spikes on green foliage. The winter form is lovely as well. Some describe the winter color as cream or tan. We say let's call it brown.

We have a single specimen in the Demonstration Garden, but we think this grass would look attractive planted in a larger group or even in a meadow.

This grass is extremely low maintenance and unlike many other grasses doesn't need to be divided every couple years. To keep this grass looking good, we rake out the old foliage to make room for the green spring growth.

The only downside of this plant is that it can be hard to find in nurseries. It is well worth requesting from a nurseries as a special order.

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