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Bromus kalmii (Arctic brome)
Bowen, Rob

Bromus kalmii

Bromus kalmii A. Gray

Arctic Brome, Prairie Brome, Wild Chess

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Bromopsis kalmii, Bromus purgans

USDA Symbol: brka2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A slender-stemmed grass, 2-3+ ft. tall, with a drooping, few-flowered seedhead. Each branch of the seedhead bears 1-3 flattened, wheat-like spikelets.


From the Image Gallery

3 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 3-1/2 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: CT , DC , IA , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , SD , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: MB , ON , QC
Native Distribution: ME to MN & SD, s. to w. MD & IA, QC to MB
Native Habitat: Dry, sandy, open woods; rocky banks

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry, sandy soils

Value to Beneficial Insects

Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Commercially Avail: yes

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:

North American Native Plant Society - Etobicoke, ON
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-12-16
Research By: TWC Staff

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