Wire-stemmed muhly is a warm season perennial grass that spreads through seed and rhizomes (underground stems). Initial infestations often occur as un-patterned clumps within a field. However, if left uncontrolled, the formation of a dense sod will occur. This species is often misidentified as quackgrass in early growth. The key to differentiate the two is through Wire-stemmed muhly’s rhizomes.
Seedlings are flat, rough to the touch and have short blades. Leaves are rolled in the bud, auricles (little hooks surrounding the leaf blade) are absent, and ligules are membranous (1 mm) and jagged along the upper margin.
When identifying Wire-stemmed muhly, key characteristics are the formation of thick, yet relatively short rhizomes. The steams are leafy with free branching from the upper nodes, giving the plant a dense bushy appearance. The stems are smooth with a high level of branching. The plant produces abundant seed in late July or early August and will go dormant by late September.
Optimal growth conditions
The grassy weed Wire-stemmed muhly is commonly found in conditions of warm temperatures with rich moist soils.