Green Sprangletop

(Leptochloa dubia) 

Green Sprangletop is a vigorous, drought tolerant, warm-season, perennial bunchgrass that grows widely throughout the Southwestern United States especially New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma. This grass is not considered long-lived, but under favorable conditions maintains itself well by reseeding. 


Green Sprangletop can reach heights of 2-4 feet tall under favorable soil and moisture conditions. Leaf blades are about 12 inches long and approximately 1/2 inch wide. The spreading appearance of the seed-head gives this grass its common name. Growth starts in mid-spring and continues throughout the summer. The abundant, leafy forage is palatable to all classes of livestock and makes good quality hay if mowed before the stemy seed heads have formed. 

Successful plantings of Green Sprangletop have been made on most soil types. The species may be seeded alone or in mixture with other adapted grasses. It is rarely a dominant portion of the composition. It provides good grazing for all classes of livestock and is especially relished while green and succulent. It establishes quickly and easily, and is best used as a nurse crop in a native blend or seed mixture (it comes up early helping to stabilize the soil and to compete against weed pressure.) The vegetative cover offers good surface protection on highly erodible land (especially sandy soils). Green Sprangletop is a must for construction, reclamation and pipeline projects.

Best seedling stands have been obtained where plantings were made on a clean-tilled, firm, well-prepared seedbed. Seeding rates of 2-4 pure live seed pounds per acre for critical planting sites and 1/-1 pure live seed pounds per acre in other blends have given excellent results.

Green Sprangletop

General Characteristics

Growth Type:Bunch
Life Span:Perennial
Growing Season:Warm Season
Plant Height:2-4 feet
Cold Tolerance:Good
Drought Tolerance:Good
Salt Tolerance:Fair
Soil Type:Widely Adapted
Minimum Rainfall:10 inches
Planting Rate:0.5-4 pls#
Planting Date:Dec. - June
Seed Type:Slightly Chaffy
Uses:Grazing, Wildlife Habitat, Erosion Control, Reclamation