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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Sprangletop - Leptochloa fusca
Other Names:  Leptochloa fascicularis, Diplachne fusca

Status Under Review
Non-native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status
C-value: 1


External Links

General Description
Warm season annual bunchgrass. Stems 10–40 cm. Leaves: blades 2–4 mm wide, flat and ascending; sheaths with overlapping margins; ligule membranous. Inflorescence a panicle of secund lateral spikes but these often congested in leaf sheaths and adjacent leaf blades. Spikelets 4–7 mm long with 5 to 7 florets; glumes similar in size to lemmas. Lemmas hairy, awn-tipped, distinctly 3-nerved; palea enfolded by floret. Disarticulation above glumes; unit of dispersal the floret (Lavin in Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are subspecies fascicularis; a recent molecular study supports treatment of this taxon as Diplachne fusca subsp. fasicularis (Peterson et al., 2012; Annals of Botany 109: 1317-1329).

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Throughout nearly all of the U.S. and sporadically across S. Canada (Lavin in Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 7

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Most frequently in seasonally saturated disturbed areas such as receding margins of reservoirs or muddy roadsides, less frequently along sidewalks or vacant lots.

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Sprangletop"
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Citation for data on this website:
Sprangletop — Leptochloa fusca.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from