MUHLENBERGIA Shreb. Muhly
Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose or rhizomatous (rarely stoloniferous), annual or perennial. Culms erect or ascending or
geniculate or rarely mat forming, glabrous or hairy; internodes solid, terete. Leaves basal or basal and cauline; sheaths
mostly terete (some with compressed keels), margins open; auricles absent; ligules membranous or ciliate membrane; blades flat
or folded or involute, pungent or not, stiff or lax. Panicles open or narrow or contracted; primary branches spreading
or ascending or appressed , terminating in a spikelet. Spikelets solitary, laterally compressed or terete (rarely
dorsiventally compressed), usually awned, subsessile or pedicellate, pedicels without glands; disarticulation above or below the
glumes; floret 1 (rarely 2), callus glabrous or hairy; reduced floret absent; glumes mostly 1 - 4-veined, unequal, shorter
than first floret or rarely longer, glabrous or scabrous or hairy; lemmas 3-veined, hyaline or membranous or chartaceous,
entire or emarginate, usually awned (few species mucronate or awnless), glabrous or pubescent or hairy, veins glabrous or
hairy; paleas 2-veined, awnless or awned, glabrous or hairy. Stamens 3; anthers yellow or reddish purple. Caryopses terete or
dorsally compressed. Base chromosome number x = 10.
A variable genus of more than 150 species with the center of distribution in Mexico. Species of mesic and
xeric habitats, commonly adventive, the genus is diverse and important in desert grasslands.