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Deer Grass

Muhlenbergia rigens

3-4' tall / 3-4' wide


Deer Grass is medium, clumping grass that grows fast. It grows relatively rounded, very symmetrical. The leaves are medium green and contrast nicely with the dead leaves which are a golden brown. The flower stalks are tall, light and wispy. This plant can be found in flat areas but also growing on very steep slopes and even out of rock cracks. The plant seeds readily.

In the garden, this plant is very commonly used in both CA native gardens and non-native gardens alike. It is loved for its structure and easy of growth. It is beautiful and subtle on the eye. You will most likely see this plant growing in the center divide of busy roads near the new side of town that is drought tolerant and modern. It can handle water very well, but doesn’t really need it. Too much water will cause this plant to grow too fast, which then leads to needing too much maintenance. It expands from the base, making it difficult to contain over time. I recommend hedge trimming this plant anytime of year, whenever it is growing too big for your spot. The plant bounces back very fast whenever you cut it. If it is growing too wide, use a spade or reciprocating saw to bring the plant in and condense its size.

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