Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Muhly, spike
Bé’ézhóó’ tsahí

Green spikelet displaying typical pattern of  seeds and interrupted patches

Spike muhly rates high in palatability for all livestock. It is most abundant on rocky soils and in mountain meadows at elevations from 3,800 to 9,000 feet.

Abundant spike muhly on rangeland in good condition needs only moderate grazing for maintenance. Depleted ranges may need summer deferment.

This perennial bunchgrass reaches heights of 8 to 24 inches. Clumps are generally 1 to 2 feet wide. The grass has a very narrow seedhead that has a distinctive feature: the seeds do not occur continuously, but are sometimes interrupted by bare areas. There is one floret per spikelet.

Dry spikelet showing the interrupted pattern of seeds along the axis
Close-up of seed spikelet
Clumpy growth habit
Thick green/brown seedhead at the top of a single green grass stem, with other stems and seedheads in the background.

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