Eastern Gama

Plant Height 3 to 9 ft. tall
Botanical Name Tripsacum dactyloides


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.

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