Muhlenbergia capillaris 'White Cloud'

Common Name: muhly grass 
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Zone: 6 to 10
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: September to November
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Black Walnut, Air Pollution


Best grown in sandy or rocky, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Best in full sun. Tolerant of heat, humidity and drought, but generally grows taller with consistent moisture. Tolerates poor soils and urban conditions. Does not spread by rhizomes. May be grown from seed. Propagate by seed or division in spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Muhlenbergia capillaris, commonly called pink muhlygrass or pink hair grass, is a clump-forming, warm season, perennial grass that is noted for its attractive summer foliage and spectacular clouds of fall flowers. It is native to prairies, pine barrens, and open woodlands from Massachusetts to Kansas south to Florida and Texas. In Missouri, it most frequently occurs in acidic soils in open woods, glades or openings along roads primarily in central Ozark and western areas south of the Missouri River (Steyermark). Glossy, wiry, thread-like, dark green leaves and stems form an attractive basal clump to 2’ tall. It is the fall flowering, however, that most distinguishes this grass. Masses of airy, open, loosely branched inflorescences (each to 12” long) in pink to pinkish-red float above the foliage in a lengthy fall bloom. Tan seed plumes remain attractive in winter. Plants typically grow to 3’ tall x 3’ wide when in flower.

Genus name honors Gotthilf Henry Ernest Muhlenberg (1753-1815), Lutheran pastor in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., distinguished amateur botanist.

Specific epithet means fine or hair-like.

'White Cloud' was introduced by Superior Trees Nursery of Lee, Florida. It is slightly larger and more upright than the species and blooms a little later. It has fluffy plumes of delicate white flowers in late summer and fall that rise a foot above the narrow blue green foliage. The flowering stalks will mature and persist into winter. ‘White Cloud’ grows 3 to 4 ft. tall and 2 to 3 ft. wide.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Best grouped or massed for late season color. Borders, cottage gardens or native plant areas. Mass for cover of areas with poor soils.