Common Name: rye brome Duration: Annual Nativity: Non-Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Introduced annual to 1 meter tall with a spreading inflorescence that droops at maturiity, containing glumes that appear similar to rye grain. Vegetative: Leaf blades 15-30 cm long, 2-4 mm wide, pilose to glabrous; stems 20-30 cm tall, erect, mostly hidden by sheaths, lower sheaths glabrous or pubescent,; ligules 2-3 mm long. Inflorescence: Panicles open, drooping at maturity, 5-23 cm long, 2-12 cm wide; branches spreading to ascending, in whorls of 3-5 near base; spikelets 1-2 cm long glabrous to sparsely minutely pubescent, laterally compressed; glumes mostly elliptical, glabrous; glumes unequal, lower glumes 4-6 mm with 3-5 veins, upper glumes 6-7 mm with 7 veins; lemmas 6-9 mm long, 1-2 mm wide, faintly 7-veined, rounded, usually glabrous along backs; awns 3-6 mm, straight; anthers 1-2 mm. Ecology: Found in fields, disturbed open areas, and along roadsides at elevations up to 5000 ft. (1500 m); flowers May-July. Distribution: Found throughout the United States. Notes: An aggressive grass, preferring sunny, disturbed areas. Is native to Europe. Bromus secalinus var. velutinus is differentiated by having pubescent spikelets. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Bromus comes from Greek bromo for stinking, while secalinus means resembling rye. Editor: LKearsley 2012
Annual 3-12 dm; culms glabrous or sometimes retrorse-hairy below the nodes; middle and upper sheaths generally glabrous, the lower glabrous or hairy; blades 3-8 mm wide, glabrous or hairy; ligule 0.5-3 mm; infl loose and open, 7-15 cm, its branches several from a node, simple or again branched; spikelets 1-2.5 cm, usually drooping, 6-12-fld; first glume oblong, 4-6 mm, 3- or 5-veined, the second similar, 5-8 mm, 5- or 7-veined; lemmas elliptic, obtuse, 6-9 mm, obscurely 7- veined, glabrous or minutely scaberulous, rarely evidently hairy, awnless or with an awn to 6 mm between the two broad teeth; margins of the lemma soon involute, causing the florets to diverge and expose the flexuous rachilla; palea about as long as the lemma; anthers 1-2 mm; 2n=14, 28. Native of Europe, where often a weed in wheat-fields; intr. in grain-fields, roadsides, and waste places throughout the U.S.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.