Aaaahhhh, billowy, plumes of lavender grasses floating from side to side with the gentle ocean breeze. What a magnificent plant highlighted in the back light of a sunrise or sunset. Most of the year our grasses are not given that second look, but once it blooms, everyone is asking its name. Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) is now in bloom with an explosion of feathery flowers that are numerous and dazzling. Blooming starts in October and continues thru December. After the spectacular flowers, comes the cappuccino color of ripe seeds. Its seeds and leaves are great food source for birds and wildlife. Many garden critters take shelter in its protective cover. I enjoy watching our garden birds pulling on the grassy reeds to pad and weave their nests with. Local artisans also utilize it for creating baskets, mats, and unique weavings. It is a SWF native plant which is drought tolerant, has little or no pests, and few diseases. Muhly Grass is my number one favorite plant to suggest for gardens that are breezy. You will agree, nothing is prettier than that explosion of blooms rustling in the wind.
You can see this purple haze display in full bloom at the Botanical Gardens of the Sanibel Moorings.