Agrostis sericea (Michx.) Elliott
Muhlenbergia filipes M.A.Curtis
Podosemum filipes (M.A.Curtis) Bush
Polypogon sericeus (Michx.) Spreng.
Stipa sericea Michx.
Muhlenbergia sericea is a perennial, clump-forming grass with erect culms around 70 - 140cm tall. The plant forms dense clumps[
The plant is an important component of the coiled basketry made by the Gullah community in South Carolina, and is harvested in quantity from the wild for this purpose. Whilst originally purely functional, the baskets are now also recognised as an artform and are sold commercially. The plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental, there are some named varieties[
Southern and southeastern N. America - North Carolina, south to Florida and west to Texas
Sandy maritime habitats on the barrier islands and in coastal woodlands; at elevations up to 50 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Muhlenbergia sericea is native to the warm temperate and subtropical coastal regions of southeastern N. America where the harsh coastal environment is subject to high temperatures, storm surges, and frequent inundation. The soils on which this grass is often found have a high water table. Long-term survival of native stands may be dependent on this hydroperiod regime, where soils remain wet during all but the driest season of the year. There is generally a much higher soil organic content than is found in the adjacent dunes and pH levels range from 6.0 - 8.5[
This species is an important component of the coastal ecological community. Its root system provides structural stability to the soils[
The leaves of this grass are used as the base material for coiled basketry made by the Gullah community, descendants of enslaved Africans in the South Carolina coastal area, The Gullah is a recognized cultural group with distinctive sociological traditions.
The raw materials used are harvested locally and include the leaves of this grass, longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) needles, and needlegrass or black rush (Juncus roemerianus Scheele) stems. Clusters of these base materials were sewn together with narrow strips cut from the leaves of saw palmetto [Sabal palmetto (Walter) Lodd. ex Schult. & Schult. f.) plants[