Eastern Gamagrass

Eastern Gamagrass is a native, warm-season, perennial bunchgrass that grows between 2 to 4 ft. tall. It is a tall, leafy, vigorous, and a high forage producer. It is considered a highly palatable grass relished by livestock which is why it has all but disappeared on Texas rangelands. It is now generally found in low areas or along waterways but historically it was an important component of upland prairies. Minimum rainfall requirement generally 25″ and can be found in the eastern two-thirds of Texas all the way east to the Atlantic coast. It has been grown as a monoculture for pasture in areas of high rainfall using intensive grazing rotation. It is mostly used in rangeland mixtures especially in areas where water erosion is a concern. Establishing this grass from seed can sometimes be difficult.

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Description

Eastern Gamagrass is a native, warm-season, perennial bunchgrass that grows 4-8’ tall. It is found throughout the state along riparian areas and was historically more common on uplands in the Blackland Prairie, Edwards Plateau, Upper Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, and East Texas. It is considered a highly palatable grass and is relished by livestock.  Eastern Gamagrass also provides excellent cover and seed production for wildlife.  Common uses of Eastern Gamagrass are for wildlife habitat restoration, prairie restoration, and forage plantings.

Eastern Gamagrass has been extirpated from much of its former native range by overgrazing and cultivation of historic prairies. Minimum rainfall requirements for Eastern Gamagrass are generally 25″.   Establishing this grass from seed can sometimes be difficult due to a high degree of seed dormancy.

Planting: Plant in the spring at a rate of 6-10 lbs. pure live seed (PLS) per acre at 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep.

Soil: Grows in a variety of soils.

Height: Up to 8 feet

Type: Warm Season Perennial

Region: Texas-wide (in areas with over 25” annual rainfall)

For more information: Eastern Gamagrass Plant Guide from USDA NRCS

Additional information

Season

Warm Season

Plant Type

Grass

Height

>5'

Wildlife

Deer, Quail, Turkeys