Image Source : Haddock, Michael John. Wildflowers and Grasses of Kansas. University Press of Kansas, 2005.
Botanical Name :
Plant Height :
3 to 9 ft. tall
This grass is palatable and very nutritious for livestock. Cattle relish this grass and can eliminate it through overgrazing. Birds and small mammals consume the seeds.
AREA OF ADAPTATION: Eastern gama grass is principally found in prairies, fertile bottomland , and stream banks; moist soils. Eastern gamagrass is a warm-season bunch grass native to the Eastern United States and is still often found East of Kansas and Oklahoma. This highly productive grass is best adapted to wet habitats; and remnant colonies are commonly found in flood plains and along stream banks. Eastern gamagrass is a relative of field corn and is characterized by numerous short, well-developed rhizomes. Lower culm internodes are short, resulting in most of the leaves originating from the base of the plant. Individual grass clumps can reach a diameter of 4 feet with seed heads growing on culms 3 to 9 feet tall.
PLANTING: For best results, chill seeds 6-8 weeks prior to planting or plant after November 1st but before frost in the soil.
MANAGEMENT: Eastern gamagrass has the potential to provide high-quality forage throughout the summer grazing season. It can also be used as a perennial substitute for corn silage. Care must be taken to ensure adequate establishment; weed control during the establishment phase is critical. This grass can be grazed or harvested as hay or silage. An 8 to 10 inch stubble is recommended to ensure optimum regrowth and stand persistence. For this reason, rotational stocking is desirable if this forage crop is grazed.