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Bromus inermis (Smooth brome)
Smith, R.W.

Bromus inermis

Bromus inermis Leyss.

Smooth Brome

Poaceae (Grass Family)


USDA Symbol: BRIN2

USDA Native Status: L48 (NI), AK (NI), CAN (NI), GL (I), SPM (I)

This species includes subspecies that are North American natives. However, it also includes subspecies that are not native to North America, e.g. Bromus inermis ssp. inermis, Smooth Brome. Non-native taxa are not treated in this database.

A rhizomatous, clump-forming, perennial grass bearing many light green (sometimes purple- or bronze-tinged), narrow, usually hairless spikelets in a loose, much-branched terminal cluster.

This drought-resistant Eurasian species was deliberately introduced into the United States around 1880 as a hay and pasture grass and for reseeding western ranges. It has since gone wild throughout the United States and much of Canada (except the far north) and is now one of our most common weedy grasses; in some areas it is considered an undesirable plant because of its aggressiveness. However, its deep roots make it an excellent soil binder, protecting against erosion. Relished by all kinds of livestock, it is a fine forage. The species name means "unarmed," alluding to the spikelets, which do not have the long bristles characteristic of some of Smooth Brome's relatives. A rare variant has hairy spikelets.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


USA: AK , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , NT , ON , PE , QC , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Throughout most of North America, except parts of far north; least common in southeastern United States.
Native Habitat: Roadsides, fields, pastures, nursery plots, and waste places.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Orange-edged Roadside-Skipper
(Amblyscirtes fimbriata)

Adult Food Source
Learn more at BAMONA

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Bromus inermis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Bromus inermis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Bromus inermis


Record Modified: 2022-03-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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