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Pest Information

Red Sprangletop

Red Sprangletop

  • Latin Name: Leptochloa Filiformis
  • Common Name: Red Sprangletop
  • Other Names: Clustered saltgrass, loose-flowered sprangletop, raygrass, spreading millet

Pest Details

Red Sprangletop


Native to tropical Latin America.


A summer annual grass, particularly a problem in wet environments such as ditch banks, rice fields, irrigation canals, or heavily irrigated areas. Seeds germinate in mid-spring and plants mature in late summer.


Very similar to two other varieties of Leptochloa: Mexican sprangletop – flower head is very dense and dark colored, spikelets not awned Bearded sprangletop – flower head less dense than Mexican, but not nearly as open and loose as Red, heads dark green turning light green Mature plant forms large clumps that may grow up to 4 feet high. Foliage has no covering of hairs, but the leaf blades and their sheaths are rough to the touch. Leaf blades are up to 1/3 inch wide and up to 20 inches long. Flower head is very open, with spikelets widely separate along the stem and narrow, turning a reddish color as they mature. The panicle may be over a foot long, and each spikelet may be up to 6 inches long, with over a dozen flowers on it.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Spring germination of seeds, standing water areas encourage the growth.

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