Mat muhly

(Muhlenbergia richardsonis (Trin.) Rydb.)




Synonyms
Vilfa richardsonis Trin.; Vilfa squarrosa Trin.; Muhlenbergia squarrosa (Trin.) Rydb.
Description
Mat muhly is a rhizomatous perennial, with erect culms, slightly bent at the base, but not widely spreading. The upper internodes are rough with tiny bumps or nodules. Mat muhly leaves are short (up to 2 -" long), narrow, with the upper ones often inr olled. The upper surface is rough with coarse stiff hairs sometimes lying flat. The sheaths are loose. Mat muhly's inflorescence is a narrow, contracted panicle, often spike- like to 4 inches long. The dark-green (sometimes even blackish) spikelets are made up of single flowers flattened sidewise.
Distribution and habitat
Flowering from June to October, mat muhly can be found in juniper-oak woodlands and grassy openings in the forest from 7,000 to 8,700 feet.
General information
Livestock readily eats young mat muhly, but plants become less palatable as they mature. Mat muhly cures well in the northern Great Plains and is grazed by all classes of livestock, especially in the winter. In the northern part of its range, mat muhl y is rated as good to very good forage for cattle and horses and fairly good for domestic sheep. Mat muhly withstands heavy grazing because of its sod-forming habit, although the plants usually grow in scattered patches, so they are seldom sufficiently ab undant to be of major importance to livestock.