Scientific: Muhlenbergia capillaris
Common: hairy awn muhly, pink hair grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae)
Origin: Southeastern United States
Pronounciation: Muh-len-BER-gee-a ca-pil-LAR-is
Landscape Use: Best in large groups as a filler plant, bank cover, rock garden, oriental effect.
Form & Character: Wispy, airy, perennial grass plant suggests movement of air, has a cooling effect in the landscape.
Growth Habit: Clumping bunch grass to 3 feet in height with an equal spread.
Foliage/Texture: Narrow, linear dull gray-green leaves to 3-feet long, foliage browns during the winter; fine texture.
Flowers & Fruits: Erect, branched flower stalks, florets tinged with pink, fruit inconspicuous.
Seasonal Color: Wispy, 'purple haze' flowering mostly during later warm season (fall in Phoenix), followed by the "brown air" of winter.
Temperature: Tolerant of Phoenix heat and cold.
Light: Full sun, no shade.
Soil: Tolerant of most soil types, but grows best in soils that are well drained.
Watering: Weekly to bi-weekly deep irrigations in summer will keep plants robust.
Pruning: Shear very hard or else burn to the ground in winter to rejuvenate and remove thatch. When burning to the ground, make sure follow local laws, and use discretion and common sense so you don't end up on one of those YouTube fail videos.
Propagation: Division, seed
Disease and Pests: None, though Bermuda grass encroachment is devastating.
Additional comments: The cultivar 'Regal Mist' is most popular and locally available. Other beautiful cultivars include 'Pink Flamingo' and 'White Cloud'. This bunch grass plant is currently very popular in the Phoenix area. Keep in mind though that bunch grasses as ornamentals in Phoenix landscapes look good for only about 2 to 4 years before they need to be either removed or rejuvenated because of excessive thatch buildup.