Plant Guide > Grasses > Brome Grass > Downy Brome Grass

Downy Brome Grass

Downy Brome GrassBromus tectorum L

Downy Brome-grass, the earliest species, is common along railway embankments and by dry roadsides and is resembled by closely related species which have a more southern range.

The plant is a low, slender annual whose panicles of awned, drooping spikelets resemble the heavier heads of cultivated oats.

The stems are reddish near the nodes and soon turn to shining purple, while the ripening flowering-head is tinged with the same colour.

In sandy locations the whole plant dries in a few weeks. and, faded to a pale straw-colour, remains throughout the season, the heads bristly and lacking the gracefulness that was theirs in early spring.

Downy Brome-grass. Bromus tectorum L

Root annual. Naturalized from Europe.

Stem 6'-24' tall, slender, erect or spreading, Sheaths downy. Ligule 1"-2" long. Leaves 1'-4' long, 1"-2" wide, downy, flat.

Panicle 2'-6' long, branches slender, drooping. Spikelets 5-8 flowered, 6"-12" long, on slender, drooping pedicels. Outer scales acute, unequal, rough-hairy, 2nd scale slightly 2-toothed; flowering scale 3"-6" long, rough or hairy, acute, 2-toothed and bearing from between the teeth a straight awn 5"-8" long. Stamens 3.

Waste places and waysides. May to July.

New England to Illinois and southward.