LEPTOCHLOA Beauv. Sprangletop
Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose, annual or perennial. Culms erect, glabrous; internodes solid, terete. Leaves cauline;
sheaths terete, margins open; auricles present or absent; ligules membranous or a ciliate membrane; blades flat or
folded, not pungent. Panicles of spicate primary unilateral branches; branches generally alternate spreading to
appressed, terminating in a spikelet. Cleistogamous spikelets present or absent in axils of lower sheaths. Spikelets solitary,
laterally compressed or terete; subsessile or pedicellate, pedicels without glands; disarticulation above the glumes;
florets 2-12, callus glabrous; reduced floret at apex; glumes 1-veined, the second occasionally 3-veined, unequal, shorter
than first floret, glabrous; lemmas 3-veined, membranous, entire, awned or unawned or mucronate, glabrous or
hairy or pubescent, veins glabrous or hairy; paleas 2-veined, awnless, glabrous. Stamen 2 - 3; anthers yellow or reddish
purple. Caryopses laterally compressed or dorsally compressed. Base chromosome number x = 10.
A genus of about 50 species that are tropical and subtropical. Only one species, L. dubia (green
sprangletop) is important for livestock forage. Some species are important components of the wetlands (L.
fascicularis, L. uninervia) and others are disturbance species (L. mucronata).