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Botanical Name: Leptochloa Dubia
Green Sprangletop, is a native, perennial warm season bunchgrass with fibrous roots. Mature plants are short-lived and average 2-5 feet in height. The leaf blade is 6-8 inches long and will be either flat or folded. The seed head is an open, spreading penicle 4-12 inches long. Green sprangletop can produce two seed crops per year with adequate moisture. There are approximately 538,000 seeds per pound.
Green Sprangletop is adapted to a variety of soils, but will favor soils that are drained. It is adapted to rocky hills, canyons, and sandy soils. It may be found throughout Texas and Oklahoma, except the East Texas Timberlands and the Northern Canyon Prairies. Van Horn is also adapted to areas with various precipitation levels.
Establishment and Management
The full seeding rate for Van Horn green sprangletop is 1.7 pounds of pure live seed per acre. When planting this as a component of a seed mixture, the seeding rate should be adjusted to the desired percent of the mix. Seed should be placed 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch deep. Seedbed preparation should begin the year prior to spring planting to reduce weed problems during the first year of establishment. Work the site as necessary during the summer or early fall prior to establishment to create a firm weed-free seedbed. Work should be completed in the fall to allow time for the soil to settle and accumulate moisture. Minimum and no-till operations should use herbicide applications to control weeds. Plantings should be well established before livestock grazing is permitted. Twelve months of grazing deferment should give plants enough time to become established. Established stands of Van Horn green sprangletop should not be grazed lower than 6-8 inches, depending upon the prescribed grazing system. Contact your local U.S. Department of Agriculture-NRCS field office for assistance in planning and applying prescribed grazing plans. Soil tests should be conducted to determine the amount of fertilizer applied to sustain a medium level. Nitrogen should not be used during the establishment year because it will encourage weed growth. Weeds may be controlled by mowing or with herbicides. Consult your local extension weed specialist for recommendations on herbicides for green sprangletop.