Ontario Weeds: Wire-stemmed
Table of Contents
- Other Names
- General Description
- Stems and Roots
- Flowers and Fruit
- Similar Species
- Related Links
Name: Wire-stemmed muhly, Muhlenbergia
frondosa (Poir.) Fern.,
Other Names: muhlenbergie feuillée
Family: Grass Family (Gramineae)
General Description: Perennial, reproducing
by seed and by rhizomes.
Photos and Pictures
Wire-stemmed muhly. A. 1 much-branched floering stem arising
from a mass of scaly rhizomes. B. Leaf-base. C. Leaf-base enclosing
part of the next-younger leaf.
Stem and leaf-base characteristics of a typical grass.
Stems & Roots: Rhizomes usually
in a tangled mass at or just below the soil surface and consisting
of many short, scaly, much branched, beige to pink or purplish,
brittle segments; stems slender, wiry, up to 100cm (40in.) long,
varying from upright to nearly prostrate, usually much branched
and bushy in aspect, smooth; exposed stem internodes yellowish-green
above each node and grading upward to pinkish-purple below the next
node; leaf sheaths green, smooth, shorter than the stem internodes,
with separate margins that open and expose the internodes of the
stem; ligule membranous, its outer margin ragged, 0.5mm (1/50in.)
long; no auricles.
Flowers & Fruit: Leaf blades rather
thin, 2.5-15cm (1-6in.) long and 2-8mm (1/12-1/3in.) wide, tapering
to a long, thin point; inflorescence of small, soft, somewhat silky
panicles, these at first green, then becoming greenish-purple to
purple at maturity, very numerous, being produced at the ends of
stems and from most leaf axils, each with clusters of crowded spikelets;
spikelets soft, hairy, 2-3.3mm (1/12-1/8in.) long, each spikelet
with 1 floret and an awn 4-12mm (1/10-½in.) long or awnless.
Flowers from July to September.
Habitat: Wire-stemmed muhly is a native
plant found in southern and eastern Ontario in moist, rich soil
in woods, thickets, shores, banks and flood plains, from which it
has spread into cultivated fields, roadsides and waste places.
Similar Species: It is distinguished by
its tangled mass of beige-purple, scaly rhizomes, its slender somewhat
purplish stems and its numerous compact inflorescences from upper
leaf axils as well as ends of stems.
... on general Weed
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA
Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA
Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control
to the Ontario Weeds Gallery |