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Family Malvaceae
Leptochloa chinensis (L.) Nees
Qian jin zi

Scientific names Common names
Cynodon virgatus Willd. Malay-palay (Tag.)
Cynosurus capillaceus P.Beauv. Asian sprangletop (Engl.)
Dinebra chinensis (L.) P.M.Peterson & N.Snow Chinese sprangletop (Engl.)
Eleusine chinensis F.Muell. Jangli grass (Engl.)
Leptochloa capillacea P.Beauv. Lamb grass (Engl.)
Leptochloa eragrostoides Steud.. Red sprangletop (Engl.)
Leptochloa tetraquetra J.Presl  
Poa chinensis L.  
Poa secundaria B.Heyne ex Hook.f.  
Poa sessilis Lam.  
Poa sinensis J.F.Gmel.  
Diplodiscus paniculatus is an accepted name. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
CHINESSE: Qian jin zi.
FRENCH: Herbe fine de Chine.
JAPANESE: Azegaya.
MYANMAR: Daung-mi-pyan, Myet-kha, Myet-sat.
VIETNAMESE: Co duoi phurong, Duoi phung, Manh hoa trung quoc.

Gen info
- Leptochloa is a widespread genus of plants in the grass family. Members are commonly known as sprangletops.
- Genus name is derived from Greek 'leptos', meaning 'thin', and 'chloa', meaning 'grass'
, referring to the inflorescences. (10)

- Malay-palay is a strongly tufted, annual or short-lived perennial grass;  hollow, erect stems with glabrous leaves and fibrous roots, up to 120 cm tall. Leaves are smooth, linearm 10-30 cm long; ligule an inconspicuous membrane 1-2 mm long and deeply divided into hairlike segments. Flowers are loose panicles, 10-40 cm long, with many spike-like slender branches; two rows of spikelets each 2-3.2 mm long, purplish or green and 4-6 flowered. Seeds are brown, smooth or wrinkled, 6-9 mm long; an abundant seed producer.  (11)

- Native to the Phiippines. (1)
- Also native to Bangladesh, Borneo, Botwana, Cambodia, China, Hainan, Himalaya, India, Japan, Jawa, Kenya, Korea, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Myanmar, New Guinea, Northern Provinces, South China Sea, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam, Zimbabwe. (1)
- Occurs in croplands, wetlands, swamps, or streams in open lowland regions of the tropics. In heavy or light soils, along streams and water courses, marshy grounds, and in upland and lowland rice fields. (2)
- Invades sugarcane, vegetables, cotton, corn, soybeans, sweet potatoes bananas, pineapple, tea and other crops. Best known as a serious weed of rice. (2)

- It can withstand waterlogged, drained, and moist conditions, which makes it a problem weed in rice fields. (6)
- In Chinese traditional medicine, listed as a plant that can cause HILN (herbal-induced liver injury). (7)

- In traditional Chinese medicine, unprocessed caper (Leptochlora chinensis sterol) causes detumescence through inducing of diuresis. (8)
- Studies suggest herbicidal, hepatotoxic, antifungal, antitumor properties.


- Seeds used as famine food.
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Fodder: A fodder grass; a livestock grazing feed grass specialty.

Antitumor Activity /  Renal Cell Carcinoma Cells:
Study evaluated the antitumor activity of Leptochloa chinensis and its molecular biological mechanism against renal cell carcinoma 786-O cells. Leptochloa can weaken migration and invasion of 786-O cells. More importantly, it can block the mTOR pathway by inhibiting protein expression of p-mTOR. L. chinensis inhibits the viability and metastasis of 786-O by blocking the mTOR pathway. (3)
Herbicidal Potential Activity / Stems: Study evaluated crude extracts from stems of red spragle (Leptochloa chinensis) for inhibitory activity on seed germination and seedling growth of seven tested plants (popping pod, Chinese cabbage, Chinese kale, barnyard grass, amaranthus, weedy rice and waxy corn. All crude extracts at concentrations of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 g/L) inhibited seed germination and seedling growth of seven tested plants for 9-199% inhibition. Results suggest herbicidal potential of red sprangle against the seven tested plants and potential of crude stem extracts of red sprangle as bioherbicides as bioherbicides application in weed control. (5)
Antifungal: Study evaluated the antifungal activity of ethanolic crude extracts of 24 medicinal plants, including Leptochloa chinensis against Fusarium sp (the pathogen of dirty panicle disease in rice). All 24 extracts showed significant inhibition of mycelial growth activity. Leptochloa chinensis showed 50, 53, and 63% inhibition at 5000, 7500 and 10,000 ppm, respectively. (9)


October 2022

IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph:  Leptochloa chinensis - Rice weed / Photo by IRRI / CC by NC-SA /  click on image to go to source page / Plantwise
IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph:  Leptochloa chinensis - Rice weed / Ping an Chang / CC by SA 4.0 /  click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Leptochloa chinensis / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Leptochloa chinensis (Chinese sprangletop) / CABI: Invasive Species Compendium
Chinese Medicine Leptochloa chinensis Inhibits the Malignant Behaviors of Renal Cell Carcinoma 786-O Cells by Regulating the mTOR Pathway / Yongshun Tan, Lingyun Li, Qiuju Lin et al / Evidence-
Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2021; Article ID 5122380 /
DOI: 10.1155/2021/5122380
Leptochloa chinensis / Flora of North America
Herbicidal Potential of Red Spragle (Leptochloa chinensis) on Seed Germination and Seedling Growth against Some Tested Plants / Sawatdikarn Sanit / DOI: 10.18483/ijSci. 2419
Leptochloa chinensis - A serious weed of rice / Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Research Advances on Hepatotoxicity of Herbal Medicine in China / Changxiao Huirong Fan, Yazhuo Li, Xiaohe Xiao / Biomed Research International, Vol 2017 / DOI: 10.1155/2017/7150
Analysis of the adverse reactions induced by natural product-derived drugs / Zhi-Ping Zeng, Jian-guo Jiang / British Journal of Pharmacology, 2010; 159(7): pp 1374-1391 /
DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.00645.x
Antifungal activity of crude extracts of some medicinal plants against Fusarium sp., the pathogen of dirty panicle disease in rice / Sawatdikarn Sanit / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 2016; 10(19): pp 248-255 / ISSN: 1996-0875 / DOI: 10.5897/JMPR2013.4426
Leptochloa / Wikipedia
Leptochloa chinensis / CABI: Plantwise Knowledge Bank

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

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