Previous species
Previous Species

Next Species
Next Species

Home Page

Order CD-ROMs from the site

Tell a Friend

Gardening Books

Gardening Catalogs


Deer Grass
Scientific Name: Muhlenbergia rigens (Benth.) A.S. Hitchc.,
Synonym: Muhlenbergia marshii, Muhlenbergia mundula, Epicampes rigens
Family: Poaceae
Deer Grass (Muhlenbergia  rigens) Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 7-24
USDA: 9-11

Frost Tolerance: Hardy in Phoenix

Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade

Origin: USA (California to New Mexico), northwestern Mexico

Growth Habits: Perennial grass, fast growing, up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall, 5 feet (1.5 m) when in bloom

Watering Needs: Moderate to little water, cannot tolerate poorly-drained soils.

Propagation: Seeds, division

The genus is named for Henry Muhlenberg (1753-1815), a Lutheran minister and botanist from Pennsylvania.
Deergrass is a significant basketry material to central and southern California Native Americans who utilize the flower stalks in the foundations of coiled baskets. Frequently thousands of flower stalks are needed for completion of each basket. Culms are gathered in late spring while still green, or summer or early fall when golden brown depending upon the tribe, individual family preference, and elevation of the deergrass site.

Muhlenbergia mundula, Hitchcock, A.S. (rev. A. Chase). 1950. Manual of the grasses of the United States. USDA Misc. Publ. No. 200. Washington, DC. 1950.

Cultural Practices:
Once established, deergrass is quite drought-tolerant. To maintain its vigor and reduce accumulated dead material, deergrass can be mowed every several years. Mowing should be in the fall, after it has gone to seed.

Blooming Habits:
Yellow or purple flowers.

Fruiting Habits:

The flower stalks can be cut, bundled, and then beat over a tarp or bucket to release the seeds. The seeds are usually highly viable, and do not need special treatment to initiate germination.

USDA (source for much of this information)

Sponsors: Michigan Bulb - 120 x 60 Lawns Banner! Gurney's 120 x 60 A

We do get a small commission out of these sponsors that helps financing the website.  Let us know if you are satisfied or dissatisfied of their services, since obviously we are trying to advertise only for reputable garden supply companies.  They might be helpful to get plants not generally available at the local garden center, getting a new and unusual gardening tool or get a discount Better Homes and Gardens magazine subscription.


Desert Tropicals Home Page | List of All the Plants | More in the Poaceae family | Tell your friends about this page

Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

1998-2005 Philippe Faucon, All Rights Reserved.