Verl Eastern Gamagrass

Verl Eastern Gamagrass

Scientific Name

Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L.

Short Description

'Verl' is an improved variety of eastern gamagrass that is an excellent choice for the production of an abundance of high quality forage when managed properly.


'Verl' eastern gamagrass was developed at the USDA-ARS Southern Plains Range Research Station, Woodward, OK and released in February of 2005.  'Verl' is unique among the commercially available varieties in that it is a fertile triploid that reproduces predominantly via apomixis (in other words, the vast majority of all plants are genetically identical and perform consistently).  'Verl' was extensively tested at several locations prior to its release.  Across these locations it averaged 8800 lbs of dry matter, 11% better than 'Pete', one of the best varieties prior to the release of 'Verl'. 'Verl' eastern gamagrass can be harvested 2-4 times per year on 45 day intervals.  The season average crude protein content was 9.5%, and in vitro dry matter digestibility was 52%.  Certified seed of 'Verl' is available from Johnston Seed Company.

Taxonomy of Eastern Gamagrass

 Kingdom    Plantae
 Subkingdom        Tracheobionta
 Superdivision    Spermatophyta
 Division     Magnoliophyta
 Class     Lillosida
 Subclass    Commelinidae
 Order   Cyperales                      
 Family    Poaceae
 Genus  Tripsacum
 Species   Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L.


Plant Characteristics of Eastern Gamagrass


 48 to 96 inches
 Growth habit   large bunchgrass with knotty rhizomes
 Bloom period  early summer
 Sun requirement  full sun
 Leaf foilage color  green
 Seeds per pound   6000
 Minimum soil temperature for germination:        65 ºF
 Soil pH range  5.1 to 7.5
 Planting Rate  1 PLS lb/2000 sq ft or 12 to 20 PLS lb/acre
 Planting Depth  1 to 1.5 inches
 Planting season  stratified seed: spring; non-stratified seed  winter

*Special considerations for planting: Eastern Gamagrass has a high degree of seed dormancy.  For acceptable stand establishment the seed must either be artificially stratified or planted in the fall-early winter when soil temperature is below 50 ºF and it can be naturally stratified.  A frequently used technique for artificial stratification involves soaking seed held in a burlap bag in a 1% fungicide solution for 10 to 12 hours. Allow the solution to drain from bag and store for 6 to 10 weeks at 35 to 45 ºF.  Remove seed and plant while seed is wet.  For more information contact us at 800-375-4613 or

Uses of 'Verl' Eastern Gamagrass


Eastern gamagrass is known for being the 'Candy on the Range' when it comes to palatability and nutritional quality in grasses.  'Verl' is an uniquely improved variety with high forage production and high quality.  When properly managed (not overgrazed or hayed too short), 'Verl' is best forage grasses available in terms of quality and tonnage.


'Verl' not only produces high quality forage for deer and elk, it provides excellent cover for a variety of game birds.


'Verl' can be a unique plant in the garden or prairie setting.  Vibrant green foliage and the conspicuous seed head add diversity to the landscape.

verl eastern gamagrass

Eastern Gamagrass Seedling and Growth Guide

18 days after planting                                                         28 days after planting

34 days after planting                                                                 65 days after planting