Plant Guide > Grasses > Knot Root Grass

Knot Root Grass

KNOT ROOT GRASS (Muhlenbergia racemosa (Michx.) BSP.)

Other Latin name: Muhlenbergia glomerata Trin.

Botanical description:

Knot Root Grass is perennial with a vigorous root system. Its creeping rootstocks are branched, irregularly tubercled, and send out numerous scaly runners, from the ends of which stems develop. The stems are from one to three feet high, rather succulent when young, becoming hard and woody when old. They are freely branched, especially below, and form loose tufts or rather dense, extensive mats. The leaves are narrow, numerous and crowded, chiefly towards the base of the stems. The panicles are narrow, three to four inches long, with short, upright branches. The latter are densely crowded with narrow spikelets, which consist of two awl-shaped sterile glumes, enclosing a single flower shorter than the glumes.

Geographical distribution and habitat:

Knot Root Grass is a native of Canada, distributed practically all over the country. It reaches its greatest perfection on loose, gravelly or sandy soil and does not thrive where the ground is too moist. In wet soil the stems are low and the whole plant is often tinged with purple.

Agricultural value:

This plant has been subjected to experiments for some time, but no conclusive evidence has been gained regarding its agricultural value. About twenty pounds of good seed should be sown to the acre for hay or pasture.