Tripsacum floridanum

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Dwarf Fakahatchee Grass, Florida Gamagrass

Poaceae (Gramineae)

Plant Specifics

Size:2-3 ft tall by 2-3 ft wide
Life Span:Short-lived perennial
Flower Color:Green
Phenology:Evergreen. Clump forming.
Noted for:Showy flowers, Showy fruits, Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Informal borders.
Considerations:Can get messy after cold spells.
Propagation:Seed or division of clumps.
Availability:Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Lime rock, Sand
Soil pH:Neutral to alkaline



Seeds are eaten by birds.  Provides cover for lizzards and other small animals.


Larval host for Byssus Skipper (Problema byssus).

Native Habitats:Pine rockland. Also cultivated. Dry sites.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

Grows well well north of its native range.  Documented in very southern counties with an outlier in Martin County -- that outlier is also unique in that it was collected near a cypress dome.

Closely related to corn, this species has been crossed with maize to produce a corn that is resistant to Helminthosporium turcicum, the fungus that causes northern leaf blight  (Wikipedia).

Listed as Threatened in Florida.