Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, Volume 4 (1977) pp. 69-72.


Copyright 1977 by the Authors; used by permission of the NAS


Seven species of the grass genus Muhlenbergia were studied using gross morphological and anatomical characters. The anatomical criteria proved to be of limited taxonomic value. A key to the species of the east-central plains was developed.

The genus Muhlenbergia is a large, widely distributed group of grasses, encompassing numerous species and various growth forms. The subgenus Muhlenbergia, comprised of mesic, broad-leaved, usually rhizomatous species, can easily be separated from the rest of the genus on the basis of growth habit and habitat preferences (Pohl, 1969). Species of the subgenus are widely distributed in North America but are most abundant in the deciduous forests of the eastern part of the continent. All of the species included in this study are perennials and possess well-developed scaly rhizomes. Seven species were studied: M. bushii Pohl, M frondosa (poir.) Fern., M mexicana (L.) Trin., M racemosa (Michx.) B.S.P., M sobolifera (Muhl.) Trin., M sylvatica (Torr.) Torr. and M tenuiflora (Willd.) B.S.P.