Mystery Solved! Meet a native grass …. Bush Muhly

Yesterday’s impressive snowstorm kept me from hiking, but luckily the snow was predicted and I was prepared. Well supplied with a few dried grass specimens collected from the ABQ Copper Trails, I knew immediately which species to tackle.

For the past 4+ years, one grass in particular puzzled me. Each Fall and through the winter many ABQ Open Space trails are lined with soft, pinkish, delicate puffy shrubs. And growing through these beautiful puffballs are numerous coarse jointed stems, seemingly from another grass species. Well, what better time than during a full-blown blizzard to finally figure out this mystery grass!

After pouring over field guides, a grass flora, and consulting the on-line Smithsonian Institute herbarium, I solved my mystery. This beautiful grass, both the soft puff and coarse stems, is none other than Muhlenbergia porteri, commonly called bush muhly. Such a soft pillow of seed heads at home in the gravelly Sandia Mountain granite.


  1. daveandcarol says:

    I love the detail in your drawing!

    Dave and Carol Wright 7943 Huron Dr Wilmington, NC. 28412



    1. Wow, thanks so much Carol!


    2. memnona says:

      Your page is wonderfull done and all the information is very interesting.😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cass says:

    I can see why it caught your eye, it’s beautiful! You really captured its softness ❤️.


    1. Thanks so very much! I love this plant and am always amazed at how quickly it grows to hugeness!


  3. sgoodman56 says:

    Very similar to our muhly grass here. they DO grow big!

    Liked by 1 person

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