Muhlenbergia Rigens: known to its many friends and admirers as “Deer Grass” This perfectly lovely native grass likes full or partial sun, grows fast, and is happy in many types of soil (sandy, clay, loamy or rocky) The flower stalks grow about 2-3 ft. tall and form graceful fountain shapes growing from 3 to 5 ft. wide. One source, “California Native Plants for the Garden” describes established plants as resembling giant pincushions, and goes on to note that single specimens of deer grass are dramatic, but large drifts are stunning.
It is recommended as a fine choice for the difficult transition area between regularly watered lawns and the drier areas in the garden, and it can be relied upon to look great throughout the year. Deer grass is drought tolerant and attracts beneficial insects. It is native to California, although it is not so to Contra Costa County. Ironically, despite its popular name, deer don’t like to eat it. You may find that local rabbits or squirrels are less fussy however, and young plants may need protection for the first year