RUBY MUHLY SEED ,Ornamental Grass
Plant in full to part sun in most any soil and tolerant of heat, cold and humidity. Can be planted in USDA zones as low as 5 and is reportedly resistant to browsing by deer. Great as a component in a natural meadow, especially in a location that gets a little summer water. The natural habitat of the species is on rocky slopes, portreros, limestone outcroppings and around seeps from central Oklahoma south to central Texas. Among the other common names for this species, particularly from its southern range are Seep Muhly, because it occurs on damp limestone hardpans around Austin, and Texas Halo Grass.
This selected strain of the species is a 2013 introduction of Plant Select®, a cooperative program administered by Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University. The name Undaunted™ is a registered US trademark name held by Colorado State University that is used to indicate plants selected by Lauren Springer-Ogden & Scott Ogden that come into the Plant Select® program. The seed strain used for this form of Muhlenbergia reverchonii, and also a previous introduced form called "Autumn Embers", are from collections made by Lauren and Scott in 2003 from north Texas near Fort Worth. After ten years of testing this grass in numerous garden locations, this form was observed to be more robust and more cold hardy than plants growing to the south and has exceptionally showy, pinkish-red flowers. The clumps also remain more attractive as they lack the curled up dried leaves common with this species. Our first plants were from seed that was shared with us by Panayoti Kelaidis. Lauren Springer-Ogden noted that this plant is one of the longest lived grasses she has grown and has performed great with summer heat and thrives in heavy and alkaline soils so it will likely do very well in the hot interior valleys of California. The German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber (1739-1810) named the genus Muhlenbergia for Gotthilf Heinrich (Henry) Ernst Muhlenberg (1753-1815) who was American born but returned to his ancestral Germany for schooling and later returned to America. He was an ordained Lutheran minister but devoted his free time to the study of the botany. The specific epithet honors Julien Reverchon (1837–1905), a well-known Texas botanist. Images on our website courtesy of Lauren Springer Ogden and Panayoti Kelaidis. This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Muhlenbergia reverchonii.