Encyclopedia Article

Nimblewill          Muhlenbergia schreberi J.F. Gmel.

Family:  Poaceae             
Life cycle:   Perennial, spreads by stolons and seed
Native status: Native to N. America
Habitat:  Turf, does well in moist, shaded areas.

General description:  Prostrate, mat-forming growth habit. Leaves are less than 3" in length.  Fine, slender, inconspicous seedheads

Key ID traits:  Short (1 to 3 inches), narrow leaves; short, membranous ligule.  Stoloniferous growth results in distinct patches within lawns.

Similar species:  Wirestem muhly is a larger plant, produces rhizomes rather than stolons, and is not adapted to turf.

Miscellaneous:  Nimblewill is a warm-season grass that ‘greens up’ much later in the spring than Kentucky bluegrass, and goes dormant earlier in the fall, resulting in brown patches in lawns.  

Stoloniferous growth habit of nimblewill.

Patches of dormant nimblewill in a lawn in early spring.