The genus is named for Gotthilf Heinrich Muhlenberg (1753-1814). Muhlenberg was an accomplished botanist, chemist and mineralist, but he is most famous in the area of botany. He was a German educated Lutheran minister and the first president of Franklin College now Franklin and Marshall in Pennsylvania. The plant is a warm season plant which means it starts growing in the summer and blooms in the autumn, September-November. It is a clump forming grass with a double layer; the green leaf like structure appears in summer and the purple pink flowers “out-grow” from the bottom up creating a feathery mass in the fall.
This wonderful stand of grasses did not survive the winter of 2013-14 at the Botanical Center despite the fact that the USDA gives it a zone 6 hardiness level.