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Leptochloa chinensis

Leptochloa chinensis

Recognize the problem

Family: Poaceae (grass family).

Common names: Chinese sprangletop, red sprangletop.

: Cỏ đuôi phượng, đuôi phụng, Mảnh hòa Trung quốc; Burmese:  Daung-mi-pyan, Myet-kha, Myet-sat.

A strongly tufted, annual or short-lived perennial grass; hollow, erect stems with glabrous leaves and fibrous roots; up to 120 cm tall.

Leaves: Smooth, linear, 10−30 cm long; ligule an inconspicuous membrane 1−2 mm long and deeply divided into hairlike segments.

Flowers: Loose panicle, 10−40 cm long, with many spike-like slender branches; two rows of spikelets each 2−3.2 mm long, purplish or green and 4−6 flowered.

Seeds: Brown,  smooth or wrinkled (6-9 mm long); an abundant seed producer.


Origin: Native of tropical Asia.

Introduction: As animal feed.

Habitat: Occurs in croplands, wetlands, swamps or streams in open lowland regions of the tropics. It can also grow in heavy or light soils, along streams and watercourses, in marshy grounds, and in upland and lowland rice fields.

Spread:  By seeds or vegetatively by rootstocks.

Invades: Sugarcane, vegetables, cotton, corn, soya beans, sweet potatoes, peanuts, bananas, pineapples, tea and other crops. Its ability to withstand waterlogged conditions as well as drained, moist conditions makes it also a problem weed in rice.

Impacts: Chinese sprangletop is an important weed in paddy rice, especially in direct-seeded rice fields. It is also a common weed in upland crop fields. In India, densities of L. chinensis at 6 plants/m² resulted in mean yield reduction of rice of 44%. The weed is also an alternative host of the rice blast disease Magnaporthe oryzae. Studies in the Philippines have confirmed that leaf hoppers such as Nephotettix virescens, N. nigropictus, N. malayanus, and Recilia dorsalis, which transmit rice tungro bacilliform badnavirus (RTBV) and rice tungro spherical virus (RTSV), feed on weeds such as L. chinensis in fallow fields, which indicates the potential of such weeds for dispersal of these viruses.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: All Countries

Authors: CABI. Edited by participants from Myanmar and Vietnam at a workshop in Thailand, March 2016.
tel: +60 (0)3 894329321 email:
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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