Bromus catharticus Vahl

Family: Poaceae, Tribe: Bromeae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)

Bromus unioloides Kunth, B. willdenowii Kunth

Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)


Primary Disseminule Type


Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Spikelets solitary, consisting of 6–12 fertile florets with similar-looking though diminished sterile florets at apex, elliptic to lanceolate, strongly laterally compressed, 16–40 mm long x 4–10 mm wide, disarticulating below each fertile floret at maturity.

Glumes persistent, similar, shorter than spikelet, lanceolate, chartaceous, keeled, tips acuminate to acute. Lower glume 7–15 mm long, 0.9 length of upper glume, 5–9-veined. Upper glume 8–17 mm long, 0.7–0.8 length of adjacent fertile lemma, 9–13-veined.

Fertile florets: rachilla persistent, hairy to scabrid, callus blunt, pubescent.

Lemma lanceolate, laterally compressed, 9–14 mm long x 3–7 mm wide, chartaceous, much thinner on margins, distinctly keeled, 7–13-veined, midvein and lateral veins ribbed, surface glabrous to scaberulous, rough on veins, apex acute, entire or bifid, teeth <1 mm long, awnless or awn subapical, 1–3(10) mm long.

Palea 0.7 length of lemma, keels ciliolate.

Caryopsis oblong, subterete, 5–7 mm long x 1.5–2.3 mm wide, yellowish brown, apex fleshy and hairy, hilum linear.

Similar Species

Similar Species Comparison Chart

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)