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Pretty in pink! Pink Muhly Grass, or Pink Mist Grass, dazzles in fall when it sends up a cloud of rosy-colored plumes. Plant it where the sun can shine through it, and this Fringe will sparkle and glow like a little pink campfire. It’s especially spectacular in drifts. We love the way Pink Muhly’s airy texture contrasts with visually heavy elements of the landscape, such as wooden structures, brick, stone, and evergreens. Use it to soften hard edges or to create some late-season drama in your entryway garden, patio plantings, or in any of the mixed borders that surround your home.
Pink Muhly Grass is a wide-ranging but uncommon Fringe found in dry, sandy sites in the wild. It is native from Massachusetts to Mexico. Its proper name, Muhlenbergia, comes from the name of the American botanist who first identified it, Gotthilf “Henry” Muhlenberg. Muhlenberg began to study plants intensively at the age of 24 while hiding out from British soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Henry was sympathetic to the Patriot cause, but he was also an ordained Lutheran minister and a pacifist, so he didn’t fight in the war. He escaped Philadelphia in 1777 to live at his parents’ home in Trappe, Pennsylvania. Over the years, he collected 1,100 different plants and became one of our country’s first great botanists.
Not your average flower display! Ornamental grasses may not come to mind when you think of flowers, but Pink Muhly Grass has a special floral display that can rival even the best traditional blooms. Its big, pink, cotton-candy inflorescences are outta this world!
How to Grow
Plant Pink Muhly Grass in a sunny, warm, open location, preferably in light, sandy soil. It will need regular irrigation during establishment, although extra water must drain away freely. It will be drought tolerant in subsequent years. Constantly wet soil during winter is to be avoided at all costs. Avoid over-fertilization as well. In early spring, cut the previous year’s foliage back to make way for the fresh new growth to emerge.
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