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Florida gamagrass
Tripsacum floridanum

Copyright by: Eric Fleites

General Landscape Uses: Accent grass. Massing groundcover in open, dry areas. Also wildflower and rock gardens.

Availability: Widely cultivated. Available in Homestead at Plant Creations Inc. (305-248-8147).

Description: Medium herbaceous grass

Dimensions: About 2-3 feet in height; to 4 feet when in flower. About as broad as tall.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Monroe and Miami-Dade counties, and rare in Martin and Collier counties; West Indies (Cuba, Hispaniola). In the Monroe County Keys, disjunct from Miami-Dade County to the pine rocklands of Big Pine Key.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Pine rocklands and marl prairies.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone soils, without humus.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Anthers orange, stigma purple.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy inflorescence.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Inconspicuous caryopsis.

Wildlife and Ecology: Birds eat the fruits.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed and division.

Comments: It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.

Copyright by: Eric Fleites

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Other data on Tripsacum floridanum available from:

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