This desirable native, a clump-forming grass, may be encountered as an isolated plant or covering a wet flatwoods, in freshwater areas, or in habitats exposed to salt spray. Its many leaves are rolled and narrow. Three varieties exist in Florida (Wunderlin, 2003).
Gulf muhly is a grass. stems clump-forming, wiry, un-branched, to 6 ft. tall; leaf blades rolled, stiff, 8 in to 3 ft. long, to 3/16 in. wide, sandpapery on top; inflorescences large, purplish, many very thin branches, wide-spreading, to 12 in. long; flowers at branch tips, brown, thin hair extending from tip; fruit 1/8 in. long, elliptic, purplish.