Spike Muhly (El Vado)

(Muhlenbergia wrightii)

Spike Muhly is a long-lived bunchgrass growing to a height of 75 cm (30 in.) under good conditions. The stems are leafy, smooth, somewhat flattened, and moderately spread at the base. Leaves are fairly long but narrow and inclined to be tough and wiry. The seed head is spike like, sometimes causing Spike Muhly to be confused with Wolftail or "Texas Timothy". It is widely distributed in the pinion-juniper belt and extends to higher elevations in pine grasslands and mountain valleys. It prefers medium to fine-textured soils, including shale-derived soils, and it’s an excellent soil binder. Spike Muhly is palatable to all classes of livestock and is excellent forage for deer and elk. One other characteristic that makes this grass valuable is the stem’s ability to remain green well into winter.




1.1 to 2.2 kg PLS/hectare
1 to 2 lbs. PLS/acre



1,635,000 per lb. (0.46 kg)




El Vado
El Vado Spike Muhly was released in 1973 by the Agricultural Experiment Stations of New Mexico State University and Colorado State University, the New Mexico State Highway Department, and the USDA Soil Conservation Service. The original El Vado seed was collected 16 km (10 mi.) west of Park View, New Mexico, at an elevation of 2,200 m (7,200 ft.) and 41 cm (16 in.) annual precipitation.

El Vado is adapted to a wide variety of soil types and is recommended wherever Spike Muhly is adapted. Its widest use has been in reseeding burned over areas of ponderosa pine.  Diseases have not been observed in rangeland or seed production plantings.


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