Eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) is a clump-forming, warm-season grass with broad leaf blades. Slender, arching flower spikes–with the reddish brown male flowers on the top half and the female flowers at the base–appear atop 5- to 8-foot-tall stems in mid- to late summer, with the female flowers maturing into large, cylindrical seeds. The stems are upright at first, eventually developing a sprawling habit as the seeds develop. This native grass is a bit coarse for a formal border but is an interesting addition to a meadow or a prairie-style planting, or as a living screen. Eastern gamagrass is a host plant for the larvae of several skipper butterflies and the owlet moth, and the large seeds of this U.S. native provide food for wildlife, including quail and deer. Full sun; average to moist soil. Perennial; Zones 4 to 9.
Collected in September 2020. At least 15 seeds.