Plants annual; delicate. Culms 12-50 cm, erect to geniculate; internodes mostly glabrous and smooth or scabridulous, scabridulous or strigulose below the nodes. Sheaths usually longer than the internodes, glabrous, smooth or scabridulous; ligules 1.5-3.1 mm, hyaline, truncate to obtuse, irregularly toothed to lacerate, with lateral lobes that exceed the central portion; blades 2-8.5 cm long, 0.8-2 mm wide, flat, sometimes involute, scabridulous abaxially, shortly pubescent to minutely villous adaxially, midveins prominent abaxially. Panicles 10-26 cm long, 2.8-8 cm wide; primary branches 2.6-7 cm, often capillary, diverging 25-80° from the rachises; pedicels 4-7 mm, usually curved, often through 90° or more. Spikelets 1.4-2 mm. Glumes equal, 0.7-1.2mm, usually conspicuously strigulose, particularly near the margins and apices, 1-veined, acute to obtuse, unawned; lemmas 1.4-2 mm, oblong-elliptic, greenish, sometimes purplish-tinged, shortly appressed-pubescent on the midveins and margins, apices acute or obtuse, unawned; paleas 1.3-1.8 mm, oblong-elliptic, intercostal region sparsely short-pilose or glabrous; anthers 0.6-1.2 mm, olivaceous. Caryopses 0.8-1.2 mm, fusiform, brownish. 2n = 20, 24.
Muhlenbergia sinuosa grows in sandy soil along washes, on open slopes and rocky ledges, and in roadside ditches, at elevations of 1650-2300 m. It is usually found in oak-pine forests, pinyon-juniper woodlands, oak-grama savannahs, and riverine woodlands. Its range extends from the southwestern United States into northern Mexico.
FNA 2003, Gould 1980
Common Name: marshland muhly Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Delicate annuals with stems 12-50 cm, erect to geniculate, much branched at lower nodes, strigose below the nodes, sheaths glabrous, smooth or minutely roughened. Vegetative: Blades 2-8.5 cm long, 0.5-2 mm wide, flat, or loosely involute, minutely roughened below, shortly pubescent to minutely villous above, midveins prominent below; ligules 1.5-3 mm, hyaline, truncate to obtuse, irregularly toothed to lacerate, with lateral Inflorescence: Open diffuse panicle 10-26 cm long, 2.5-8 cm wide, primary branches 2.5-7 cm, often capillary, diverging 25-80 degrees from the rachises, pedicels 4-7 mm, usually curved with spikelets 1.5-2 mm, greenish and often mottled with purple; glumes equal or nearly so, 0.5-1.5 mm, conspicuously strigulose, especially near the margins and apices, acute to obtuse, unawned; lemmas 1.5-2 mm, oblong-elliptic, greenish, sometimes purplish-tinged, shortly appressed-pubescent on midveins and margins, apices acute or obtuse, unawned. Ecology: Found in sandy soils along washes, on gravelly soils of canyon bottoms, open slopes and rocky ledges from 2,500-7,000 ft (762-2134 m); flowers August-October. Notes: Similar to M. fragilis but the glumes are strigulose in this species as opposed to being glabrous in M. fragilis. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Muhlenbergia is named for Gotthilf Heinrich Ernst Muhlenberg (1753-1815) a clergyman and botanist from Pennsylvania; while sinuosa means being sinuous or wavy. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley, 2010