Alphabetical Plant Listing

Tripsacum dactyloides (Eastern Gamma Grass)

Eastern Gamagrass, Fakahatchee Grass, Eastern Gamma Grass, Eastern Mock Grama, Coix dactyloides, Tripsacum dactyloides var. occidentale


An interesting plant with an unusual appearance, Tripsacum dactyloides (Eastern Gamma Grass) is a warm season, perennial bunchgrass noted for its 1-3 erect to ascending floral spikes, 10 in. long (25 cm), adorned with orange stamens (male flowers) and purple stigmas (female flowers). On display from mid spring to early summer, they are carried above a large clump of arching, narrow, flat blades, 12-24 in. long (30-60 cm), with a well defined midrib. The foliage turns orange-pink in the fall. Eastern Gamma Grass is rhizomatous and naturalizes by creeping rhizomes and self-seeding. Long-lived (up to 50 years), this robust and stately grass can be used as an accent plant, groundcover or in the perennial border. It is also used as a vegetative barrier for soil erosion control and revegetation. Finally, Eastern Gamma Grass is also suitable as a wildlife habitat for or wild animals like quails and prairie chickens. It provides good cover during the winter for grassland sparrows.

  • Grows up to 4-8 ft. tall (120-240 cm) and 4-6 ft. wide (120-180 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade, in average, moist to mesic, well-drained soils. Gama Grass is able to tolerate hot dry weather because of its deep root system. It does not tolerate standing water for long periods.
  • Versatile plant that can be used in woodland gardens, prairies and meadows, naturalized areas and along the edges of ponds or streams.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Eastern Gamma Grass should not be cut or grazed below 8 in. (20 cm). Cutting or grazing too low will reduce stand vigor and health.
  • Native to the United States, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean region.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 4' – 8' (120cm – 240cm)
Spread 4' – 6' (120cm – 180cm)
Spacing 48" – 72" (120cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Forest and Kim Starr, Judy Gallagher, Flickr, Lawrence Jefferson, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 4' – 8' (120cm – 240cm)
Spread 4' – 6' (120cm – 180cm)
Spacing 48" – 72" (120cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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