Eastern gamagrass

Tripsacum dactyloides



Robust stems, which are flattened at the purplish base, grow from thick, scaly rhizomes (resembling white grubs). The leaf blades are 1/3 to 1 inch wide with rough, sharp margins and may grow to 82 inches long. Ligule is a short, ciliate or lacerate membrane. The infloresence, with one to three spikes, is sometimes 12 inches long with male spikelets above and female spikelets below. Male spikelets are in pairs fitting into the hollows of the seed stem. Female spikelets are oval and hard, breaking into bony joints. This grass is kin to corn, but has both male and female parts in the same spike.

Eastern gamagrass is a perennial, warm-season, native - 36 to 72 inches tall.

Good grazing for livestock. Fair grazing for wildlife.


Grows in fertile bottomlands and swamps, little disturbed grassland sites, and along roadsides and stream banks. Can be a productive, managed pasture grass.