Plant This: Pink Flamingos muhly grass


Do you love our native Lindheimer muhly and Gulf muhly grasses? Then you’ll adore their love child, ‘Pink Flamingos’ muhly (Muhlenbergia ‘Pink Flamingos’). It has the overall size and the long inflorescence of the Lindheimer muhly, with the pink flower coloring of Gulf muhly. Its blue-green foliage is attractive spring through fall, but it really shines in autumn, when it explodes into dusty pink bloom.


A closeup of the inflorescence


After falling in love with it during an autumn visit to Peckerwood Garden in 2008 (the ‘Pink Flamingos’ I saw at Peckerwood is on the right; that’s a Gulf muhly on the left), I ordered one from Plant Delights, whose catalog describes its genesis with typical humor:

We waited more than a decade since we first saw this amazing hybrid at John Fairey’s Peckerwood Garden in Texas to be able to offer this pink muhly grass. Muhlenbergia capillaris and Muhlenbergia lindheimeri had a conjugal encounter on a warm Texas night and the result was Muhlenbergia ‘Pink Flamingos’. The spherical 3′ tall x 4′ wide clump of narrow glaucous foliage is topped in September thru November with 4.5′ long arching spikes ending in pink plumes, which are more linear than Muhlenbergia capillaris. This is a stunning deer-resistant, drought-tolerant grass that should be grown throughout its hardiness range.


Yes, indeed! Mine is just getting started and isn’t at peak bloom quite yet, but already it’s a striking focal point in the fall garden. I leave it standing all winter and cut it back hard, to about 6 inches, in mid-February. That’s the only maintenance it requires other than, perhaps, dividing it every few years. Give it full sun for best bloom.

Note: My Plant This posts are written primarily for gardeners in central Texas. The plants I recommend are ones I’ve grown myself and have direct experience with. I wish I could provide more information about how these plants might perform in other parts of the country, but gardening knowledge is local. Consider checking your local online gardening forums to see if a particular plant might work in your region.

All material © 2006-2012 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

14 Responses

  1. xericstyle says:

    Looks great ….nice and tall…and so pretty, Pam! I think you are right and I have several of these…that were labeled wrong. In the end, a beautiful mistake!

    Xericstyle, did you find yours locally? Bonnie, below, would like to know. —Pam

  2. Bonnie says:

    absolutely gorgeous! Do you know if anyone is carrying these local yet?

    I was just killing time on Facebook and saw a picture of it on The Great Outdoors’ FB page. So I guess you can find it there, Bonnie. —Pam

  3. rjhyden says:

    Wow! It`s news to me and I want !

    It’s a pretty recent introduction, and well worth trying. —Pam

  4. Hi Bonnie and Pam,

    I posted so y’all could see…
    http://xericstyle.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/mass-muhly-madness/

    IF these are them (?) yes, I got them at Rainbow Gardens thousand oaks location….

    what ‘cha think Pam??????? pink flamingo? hope this helped :)

    Thanks for the link, Heather. I do think you might have a ‘Pink Flamingos’ on your hands. —Pam

  5. Indie says:

    Wow, that is stunning! I absolutely love the pink of the Gulf muhly grass, so it’s great to see a differently structured grass sporting the same colors!

    I agree. Those long pink plumes are pretty fine. —Pam

  6. Scott Weber says:

    Amazing, you know I’m a fan, Pam…the love child of two of my favorite grasses, how can you go wrong!

    You can’t! Will you be adding this one to your garden, Scott? —Pam

  7. Lea says:

    Magnificent!
    Have a great day!
    Lea
    Lea’s Menagerie

    Thanks, Lea. You too! —Pam

  8. Jason says:

    It’s beautiful, wish it was hardy up here.

    Your zone 5 is one zone colder than Plant Delights recommends for this grass, but you could always try it in a warm spot. On the other hand, I can’t feel sorry for you if it doesn’t work since Chicago seems to be the epicenter of so many beautiful grasses that YOU can grow and I can’t. Oh yes, I’ve seen the grasses at Chicago Botanic Garden in autumn—wow! —Pam

  9. Maija says:

    What about hardiness zone?

    That’s in the Plant Delights link I provided, Maija. They say “zones 6b-10, at least.” —Pam

  10. That is an absolute beauty! So light and pretty! I guess it isn’t hardy enough for the UK though.

    I think it probably would be, TGS. Can’t you grow everything in the UK? ;-) —Pam

  11. what a coincidence, i just saw a listing for this in high country gardens, but didn’t know it was birthed down the road in hempstead! i’ll definitely look for it the next time peckerwood has an open day. i love how tall and upright the pink plumes are. must add it to my ornamental grass collection.

    I think you can find it at The Great Outdoors when you’re in Austin. They Facebooked about having some a couple of weeks ago. —Pam

  12. Kate Hutch says:

    I bought five of these beautiful grasses yesterday, not quite knowing what they were. I am so happy to have finally narrowed it down to “pink flamingo”, I could tell it was some variety of muhly grass. The owner of the nursery called them fountain grass! There is this great wholesale place in Menifee, Ca. that sells to the public, although the guy has nothing marked, and doesn’t know quite what things are. I got them in 5 gallon pots for twelve bucks apiece. I love the color, and they way the feathers sway in the breeze!

  13. cat says:

    Hey Pam,

    Do you know if any of that Austin nurseries carry the pink flamingo?? Major landscaping in my neck of the woods…Look out for the house with the big rooster in front on 45th St…and thought these would go great!

    Thanks!
    Cat

    I have seen it offered in Austin, Cat, but I can’t remember where. You might check with The Great Outdoors—that might have been where I saw it last year. I’ll be on the lookout for your house with the rooster! —Pam

  14. Cat says:

    Thanks for the tip! Checked the Great Outdoors, they didn’t have it when I went, but checking again today! Sent my mom your post on the Garden Tour at Ridgecrest…her neighbors house. she loved your blog and told me she has booked an appointment with you to come out to her house in April! Can’t wait to hear your ideas for the space and might just have to pop over and meet you! Thanks again, cat

    That’s your mom! How cool—thanks for sending her my way. I look forward to meeting her and you too, Cat. —Pam

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