Eastern Gamagrass or Gamagrass:
|Weed Description: A perennial from
large, thick rhizomes that may reach 6 feet in height. Eastern Gamagrass has a
conspicuous spike seedhead that is 'jointed' and is primarily a weed of pastures, hay
fields, abandoned fields, roadsides, and along the edges of woods. This grass is
found from Massachusetts south to Florida.
Roots: Plants have very thick rootstocks, usually much larger than the width of the plant itself.
|Leaves: Leaf blades may reach 2
feet in length and 1 inch in width, and are rough to the touch but mostly without hairs
except those that occur at the base of the upper leaf surfaces. Leaves lack auricles
but have a ligule that is a fringe of hairs, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 mm in length.
Ligules may be fused at the base taking on the appearance of a ligule that is both
membranous and a fringe of hairs.
Stems: Sheaths are without hairs and are split at least part way up the stem with overlapping margins. Stems may reach 6 feet or more in height.
|Flowers: Seedheads (usually 1
to 3) are terminal spikes that are from 4 to 12 inches in length. Spikes consist of
many tightly fused spikelets that eventually take on the appearance of being 'jointed'.
Identifying Characteristics: The large, thick rootstocks and relatively large leaves of this plant helps to distinguish it from almost any other grass. Additionally, the rather unique terminal seedhead is a good identifying characteristic of this species.