Native to the United States, and widespread in this country.
Summer annual grass weed, found in most situations – cultivated crops, roadsides, ditches. Moist locations are most conducive to its growth, and it is becoming more of a problem in irrigated crops and orchards, as well as along irrigation and drainage canals.
Mature plants may grow to 3 feet tall, and grow in thick clumps, with numerous stems growing from the base of the plant, allowing the plant to spread to 3 or 4 feet in diameter.
Leaves are narrow, flat, and up to 12 inches long. The central vein of the leaf is nearly white, giving it a distinct look of having a single, prominent vein.
Flower heads form at the ends of the erect stems, and may be as long as 12 inches and up to 6 inches wide when they fully form. They begin as dense, crowded spikes that mature to open spikes with many branches. The color tends toward dark gray. There are no awns on the spikelets.
Red sprangletop and Bearded sprangletop are similar species, but Red sprangletop has a reddish tint to its flowering head, and Bearded sprangletop has a whitish tint to the flowering head, along with distinct awns on the spikelets.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Moist areas are conducive to growth of this weed.