Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Leptochloa chinensis
(L.) Nees, Poaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Dinebra chinensis (L.) P. M. Peterson & N. Snow; Poa chinensis L.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: qian jin zi

English: Asian sprangletop, Chinese sprangletop, red sprangletop

Filipino: malay-palay

French: herbe fine de Chine

Japanese: azegaya

Habit:  grass

Description:  "A strongly tufted annual or perennial grass; roots fibrous; culms erect or geniculately ascending, 12 to 120 cm high smooth, leafy; leaf sheath smooth; ligule 1.2 to 2 mm, membranous, deeply divided into hairlike segments; blade linear, acute, rough on the upper surface, otherwise smooth, 6 to 32 cm long, 4 to 9 mm wide; inflorescence a panicle, the axis 10 to 40  cm long, straight, marked, with longitudinal lines (striate), slightly rough; racemes solitary or two to four together, ultimately widely spreading, 1 to 10 cm long; pedicels of spikelets 0.5 to 0.75 mm long; spikelets four- to six- (often five-) flowered, 2.5 to 3.5 mm, often purplish; glumes unequal, with a small sharp point, the upper larger, with scattered harsh hairs on the midnerves; lemma with submarginal lateral nerves, higher lemmas successively smaller, all lemmas with appressed hairs along nerves; palea smooth or hairy along the nerves; grain (caryopsis) brown, smoothly or finely roughly reticulated (rugose), 0.7 to 0.8 mm long"  (Holm et al., 1977; pp. 309-310).

"Tufted, erect annual or perennial grass, 10-120 cm tall, with fibrous roots.  Stems hollow, glabrous, commonly reclining at base and rooting at nodes.  Leaf sheaths loose, 4-10 cm long, with a membranous ligule 1.25-2 mm long and split into hairlike segments; leaf blades linear, acute, flat, 6-30 cm - 4-9 mm, roughish.  Inflorescence a terminal panicle of many slender branches arising from a narrow main axis, 20-60 cm long; racemes solitary or 2-4 together; 1-10 cm long, shortly pedunculate.  Spikelets 2.5-3.5 mm long, usually 5-flowered, on alternating sides of the rachis.  Caryopsis ellipsoidal, 0.8 mm long, brown, smooth or wrinkled."  (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998).

"The closely related L. panicea can be distinguished from [this species] in that it has scattered, long, fine, tubercle-based hairs, and fewer florets (2-4) per spikelet" (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998; pp. 77-78).

Description from GrassBase.

See also Leptochloa mucronata.

Habitat/ecology:  "Associated with wetlands, swamps, or streams in open lowland regions.  Can grow in heavy or light soils, along streams and watercourses, in marshy grounds and in lowland rice fields" (Holm et al., 1977; p. 310). "Heavy or light soils in soggy or inundated areas. It is able to establish and grow profusely in waterlogged conditions before crops can take a hold. 0-900 m altitude. A weed of rice, sugarcane, vegetables, cotton, corn." (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998; pp. 77-78).

Propagation:  "Seed dispersed by water and animals" (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998; pp. 77-78).

Native range:  Africa and temperate and tropical Asia (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental)   Hafliger, Ernst/Scholz, Hildemar (1980) (p. 94)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Moist places; 200-1000 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Henan, Hubei,Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang.
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 339)
In wet places.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 313)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) uncertain if introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 54)
Weed of uncertain origin
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Moist places; 200-1000 m.
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  "A serious weed in Indonesia, Philippines, Swaziland, Thailand; and a principal weed in India, Japan and Malaysia" (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998; pp. 77-78).


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This page was created on 14 MAR 2005 and was last updated on 17 MAY 2013.