Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pink Muhly Grass

Pink Muhly Grass
Originally uploaded by linfrye
Daily Practice
Journal Size

This time of year, the pink muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) is in full bloom -- and when planted en masse creates an etheral 'cotton candy' effect. Such a planting is perfect for this time of year when many state and county fairs are in full swing. Many of our highways, resorts and subdivisions have landscaped with this ornamental grass -- and even here at the Arboretum, folks stop in their tracks and ask what it is!

Muhlenbergia capillaris is a showy, perennial grass that can reach 3' high and 3' wide. The flower spikes - the silky pink inflorescence that looks like cotton candy - bloom in late summer and early fall and can keep their 'pink' color for 6-8 weeks. (There is also a white variety available.) They flowers will eventually turn a wonderful beige and give a terrific winter interest to any garden.

If you've ever visited the South Carolina lowcountry and have become enamored with the 'sweet baskets' created there, pink muhly grass is the "sweet" grass used (along with palmetto fronds and some pine needles) to create these incredible baskets.

I painted this from my own blooming muhly grass last weekend. There is a gap in our treeline that when the sun begins to set, strikes this particular clump of muhly with a glow that is like pink fire --- amazing!

I have tried to paint this grass for a while now, struggling to find just the right elusive 'wisp-ishness' to the flower spikes .. I 'think' I finally managed it ...

Hope your day is grand!


Lorraine said...

Truly beautiful and yes very ethereal and wispy Lin. I love the splatter and splash effect of the pinks with the green "threads" of the base. Gorgeous stuff. I've never seen it but I have no doubt you've captured it beautifully. It looks every so much better when I look at the Flickr version.

Teri C said...

Oh lIn, this is truly wispy and delicate and oh so lovely.

Sarika Alvekar-Shelke said...

Thats lovely Lin. I always wondered which journal you use. I tried some but not so good for watercolor.

Joan said...

Oooh, love this!!!! You made it look so delicate and soft. I don't think I've ever seen this pink grass. Your meditative piece below is very pretty. I like the change of palette and the feeling of being led into the painting.

I had a good, if cold, trip to Maine and did quite a few little paintings from the car. It was just too windy and cold to sit outside. Hopefully I'll get to post some of them shortly, especially since I'm almost done with the Venice paintings.

Enjoy the rest of your day.

Sarika Alvekar-Shelke said...

Thanks Lin. That helps, sure will give it a try.

Sandy said...

How lovely, I would love to have a vase full of this grass.