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Muhlenbergia sobolifera (Muhl. ex Willd.) Trin.

Cliff Muhly

Habitat: Dry rocky (often calcareous) or gravelly woods, shaded ledges, etc. [Hardwood to mixed forest (forest, upland); Rocky summits and outcrops (non-forested, upland)]

Range: Maine to Virginia, west to Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Texas.

Aids to Identification: The genus Muhlenbergia is comprised of grasses with small, single-flowered spikelets with folded floral scales. In Maine, muhlys are separated from closely related genera by glumes that are shorter than the lemmas and/or awns (slender bristles) that are borne from the tips of the floral scales. Muhlenbergia sobolifera is told apart from other Muhlenbergia in Maine by the combination of the leaves 2-7 mm wide, glabrous stems 1.3-2.5 mm long, and rhizome (underground horizontal stem) with tightly appressed scales.

Ecological characteristics: The one known historical occurrence of this species in Maine grew in association with wild rye (Elymus spp.).

Phenology: Fruits September - October.

Family: Poaceae

Synonyms: Former names include Agrostis sobolifera Muhl. ex Willd.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has historically been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): Oxford.

Dates of documented observations are: 1974

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of range; scarcity of suitable habitat.

Conservation considerations: Unknown; no current locations for this species are documented.