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bearded sprangletop, Malabar sprangletop, sprangletop

Habit Plants annual or weakly perennial.

5-170 cm, hollow.


glabrous or scabrous;

ligules 2-8 mm, membranous, attenuate, becoming lacerate at maturity;

blades 3-50 cm long, 2-7 mm wide, glabrous or scabrous, those of the flag leaves sometimes exceeding the panicles.


(1.5)10-105 cm long, 0.5-22 cm wide, with 3-35 racemose branches, bases of the panicles sometimes remaining enclosed in the upper leaf sheaths at maturity;

branches 1.5-20(22) cm, ascending to reflexed.


5-12(14) mm, with 6-20 florets.


0.8-2.4 mm, elliptic to ovate or obovate.


glumes 1-3(4.9) mm;

upper glumes 1.8-5.5 mm;

lemmas 2-6 mm, sometimes with a dark spot near the base, apices acute to truncate, sometimes emarginate to bifid, unawned, mucronate, or awned;

paleas somewhat sericeous along the veins;

anthers 1-3, 0.2-2.7 mm.


= 20.

Leptochloa fusca

from FNA
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Leptochloa fusca grows in warm areas throughout the world. The two American subspecies, subsp. uninervia and subsp. fascicularis, are usually distinct, but they intergrade repeatedly with L. fusca subsp. fusca.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Uppermost leaf blades exceeding the panicles; panicles usually partially enclosed in the uppermost leaf sheaths; mature lemmas often smoky white with a dark spot in the basal 1/2
L. fusca subsp. fascicularis
1. Uppermost leaf blades exceeded by the panicles; panicles usually completely exserted; mature lemmas usually lacking a dark spot.
→ 2
2. Anthers 0.5-2.7 mm long; spikelets 6-14 mm long; lemmas obtuse, acute, or acuminate, sometimes bifid, light brown to dark green
L. fusca subsp. fusca
2. Anthers 0.2-0.6(1) mm long; spikelets 5-10 mm long; lemmas obtuse to truncate, usually notched and mucronate, often dark green or lead-colored
L. fusca subsp. uninervia
Source FNA vol. 25, p. 54.
Parent taxa Poaceae > subfam. Chloridoideae > tribe Cynodonteae > Leptochloa
Sibling taxa
L. chinensis, L. chloridiformis, L. dubia, L. nealleyi, L. panicea, L. panicoides, L. scabra, L. virgata, L. viscida
Subordinate taxa
L. fusca subsp. fascicularis, L. fusca subsp. fusca, L. fusca subsp. uninervia
Name authority (L.) Kunth
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