E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Bromus inermis Leyss.
smooth brome
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #17144)

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Distribution of Bromus inermis
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Species Information

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Perennial grass from conspicuous rhizomes; stems smooth to hairy, 20-120 cm tall.
Sheaths smooth to stiff-hairy or soft-hairy; blades 3-10 mm wide, flat, smooth to soft-hairy or stiff-hairy; ear-shaped lobes at the bases of at least some of the leaves up to 1 mm long; ligules minutely jagged or more or less fringed with fine hairs, 0.5-2.5 mm long.
Inflorescence a narrow panicle, (5) 7-20 (27) cm long, the branches ascending to erect; spikelets 5- to 13-flowered, often strongly purplish-tinged, narrow, tapered from near the base, nearly circular in cross-section to somewhat compressed, 1.5-3 (5) cm long; glumes lanceolate, narrowly to broadly translucent-margined, the lower ones usually 1- (rarely 3-) nerved, 4-6 (8) mm long, the upper ones (3) 5-nerved, mostly smooth to strongly hairy, 6-10 mm long; lemmas smooth to hairy or rough, rounded on the backs, 10-13 mm long, the tips blunt, only shallowly bidentate, unawned and merely abruptly pointed or with awns 1-2 (4) mm long; paleas nearly equal to the lemmas; anthers 3, exserted, 4-6 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry disturbed sites, fields, grassy slopes, meadows and forest edges in all but the alpine zone; ssp. inermis - infrequent in C, SC and SE BC, rare northward and westward; ssp. pumpellianus - frequent in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; ssp. inermis - introduced from Eurasia; ssp. pumpellianus - N to AK, YT and NT, E to AB and ON and S to CO.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Bromus inermis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 90 1234 2661
Slope Gradient (%) 0 23 101
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
10 175 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(1), BG(27), BWBS(8), CWH(5), ESSF(63), ICH(16), IDF(62), IMA(8), MS(18), PP(11), SBPS(1), SBS(20), SWB(7)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Bromopsis inermis (Leyss.) Holub
Bromus inermis subsp. inermis Leyss.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References