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In The Garden: Fakahatchee grass is a native ornamental grass

August 8, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Fakahatchee grass (Tripsacum dactyloides), also known as gamagrass, is a native ornamental grass found in the southeastern United States. The grass has bright green narrow leaves or blades that have a serrated edge. They grow in rounded clumps and typically get 5 feet to 6 feet in height in our area.

There is also dwarf Fakahatchee grass (Tripsacum floridanum), which has all the same attributes in a smaller package, reaching heights of about 3 feet. These ornamental grasses have become an increasingly popular choice in native landscapes and can be used in a variety of situations.

The grass is an evergreen in the local sub-tropical area and prefers more sun than shade, and likes fertile soil. You will find Fakahatchee grass growing along pond banks, swamps and hammock areas and other wet sites throughout Florida.

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Fakahatchee grass

When planted appropriately in the home landscape, it can soften some of the harsh areas beneath tall palms, makes a good background for smaller shrubs and even looks good in a pot. The native grass is salt tolerant as well, making it a good choice for an island environment. Because of its dense, clumping growth pattern, it can also provide coverage for small wildlife.

Plant an ornamental grass that you do not have to mow. They are easy to grow and maintain and are a delight to watch as they sway gently in the tropical breeze.

In The Garden is a joint effort by all at the local garden center, at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel. For information, contact 239-395-5859 or visit www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden.

 
 

 

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