Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Tripsacum dactyloides

Eastern gamagrass, Fakahatchee grass

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Tripsacum dactyloides (Eastern gamagrass)
Mathews, Ray
Usually 2-3 ft. in height, eastern mock grama can grow 10 ft. tall. It is interesting primarily for its terminal inflorescences which have separate male and female flowers. Stigmas are purple; stamens orange. The plant is a perennial.

Deer eat the hard, yellow seeds of this plant.

Image Gallery:

47 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , MD , MA , MI , MS , MO , NE , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV , DC
Native Distribution: MA to IA & KS, s. to FL, OK & TX, south through Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean to South America as far as Paraguay in southeastern South America
Native Habitat: Borders of salt marshes; stream banks; mesic, upland, tallgrass prairies, Frequent in scattered parts of the state, more common in the eastern half, rare in Plains Country

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Moist soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Calcareous, Acid-based
Conditions Comments: Eastern gamagrass is related to corn, and deer gobble up its seeds. This grass grows large and stately; it is a good idea to allocate plenty of room to it. Cut it back in winter, but carefully, the leaf blade edges are sharp!


Use Ornamental: Accent, Grows in clumps, Border, Ground cover, Can be mowed
Use Wildlife: Deer eat the hard, yellow seeds. Seeds-granivorous birds, Cover, Nesting site, Graze.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Bunchgrass Skipper
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Tripsacum dactyloides is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Byssus Skipper
(Problema byssus)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Last Update: 2014-08-06