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Bromus commutatus

(Hairy Brome)


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Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Arabic:

شويعرة المروج

Common Names in English:

Hairy Brome, Hairy Chess, Meadow Brome, Meadow Brome Bromus Commutatus

Common Names in French:

brome confondu, brome variable

Common Names in German:

Verwechselte Trespe

Common Names in Portuguese:



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Family Poaceae

Annual or perennial herbs, or tall woody bamboos . Flowering stems (culms ) jointed , internodes hollow or solid; branches arising singly from nodes and subtended by a leaf sheath and 2-keeled prophyll, often fascicled in bamboos. Leaves arranged alternately in 2 ranks , differentiated into sheath, blade , and an adaxial erect appendage at sheath/blade junction (ligule) ; leaf sheath surrounding and supporting culm-internode, split to base or infrequently tubular with partially or completely fused margins , modified with reduced blade in bamboos (culm sheaths) ; leaf blades divergent, usually long, narrow and flat, but varying from inrolled and filiform to ovate , veins parallel, sometimes with cross-connecting veinlets (especially in bamboos) ; ligule membranous or a line of hairs . Inflorescence terminal or axillary , an open, contracted , or spikelike panicle, or composed of lax to spikelike racemes arranged along an elongate central axis, or digitate, paired , or occasionally solitary; axillary inflorescences often many, subtended by spatheoles (specialized bladeless leaf sheaths) and gathered into a leafy compound panicle; spikelets often aggregated into complex clusters in bamboos. Spikelets composed of distichous bracts arranged along a slender axis (rachilla) ; typically 2 lowest bracts (glumes ) empty, subtending 1 to many florets ; glumes often poorly differentiated from accompanying bracts in bamboos. Florets composed of 2 opposing bracts enclosing a single small flower, outer bract (lemma) clasping the more delicate, usually 2-keeled inner bract (palea) ; base of floret often with thickened prolongation articulated with rachilla (callus) ; lemma often with apical or dorsal bristle (awn ), glumes also sometimes awned . Flowers bisexual or unisexual ; lodicules (small scales representing perianth) 2, rarely 3 or absent, 3 to many in bamboos, hyaline or fleshy ; stamens 3 rarely 1, 2, 6, or more in some bamboos, hypogynous, filaments capillary , anthers versatile; ovary 1-celled, styles (1 or) 2(rarely 3), free or united at base, topped by feathery stigmas, exserted from sides or apex of floret. Fruit normally a dry indehiscent caryopsis with thin pericarp firmly adherent to seed, pericarp rarely free, fleshy in some bamboos; embryo small or large; hilum punctate to linear .

About 700 genera and 11,000 species: widely distributed in all regions of the world.[1]

Genus Bromus

Annuals or perennials . Culms erect , tufted or with rhizomes. Leaf sheaths closed ; leaf blades linear , usually flat; ligules membranous. Panicles spreading or contracted , branches scabrid or pubescent , elongated or arched. Spikelets large, with 3 to many florets , upper florets often sterile ; rachilla disarticulating above glumes and between florets, scabrid or shortly hairy ; glumes unequal or subequal , shorter than spikelet, lanceolate or nearly ovate , (1-) 5-7-veined, apex acute or long acuminate or aristiform ; floret callus glabrous or both sides thinly hairy; lemmas rounded on back or compressed to keel, 5-9(-11) -veined, herbaceous or nearly leathery, margins often membranous, apex entire or 2-toothed; awn terminal or arising from lemma between teeth slightly under apex, rarely awnless or 3-awned; palea narrow, usually shorter than lemma, keels ciliate or scabrid. Lodicules 2. Stamens 3. Ovary apex with appendage ; styles 2, arising from lower front of appendage. Caryopsis oblong , apex hairy, adaxial surface sulcate . Chromosomes large, x = 7, 2n = 14, 28, 42, 56, 70.

About 150 species: temperate regions , mainly in the N hemisphere, also on mountains in the tropics; 55 species (eight endemic, at least three introduced ) in China.[2]

Physical Description

Habit: Graminoid


Size: 12-18" tall.


Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 1,767 meters (0 to 5,797 feet).[3]


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Duration: Annual


Temperature: Cold Hardiness: Not Applicable (map)


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Brachypodium commutatum (Schrad.) P. Beauv. • Bromus commutatus var. apricorum Simonkai • Bromus hordeaceus L. var. commutatus (Schrad.) Fiori • Bromus mollis L. var. commutatus (Schrad.) Sanio • Bromus mutabilis F. W. Schultz var. commutatus (Schrad.) F. W. Schultz • Bromus racemosus L. var. commutatus (Schrad.) Coss. & T. Durand • Bromus racemosus L. commutatus (Schrad.) Maire & Weiller • Bromus secalinus L. commutatus (Schrad.) Lloret • Forasaccus commutatus (Schrad.) Bubani • Serrafalcus commutatus (Schrad.) Bab. • Serrafalcus racemosus (L.) Parl. Commutatus (Schrad.) Rouy


Name Status: Accepted Name .

Last scrutiny: 15-Mar-2000

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Bromus

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 95 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

B. aleutensis (Aleutian Brome) · B. alopecuros (Roadside Brome) · B. alopecuros caroli-henrici (Weedy Brome) · B. anomalus (Nodding Bromegrass) · B. arenarius (Australian Brome) · B. arizonicus (Arizona Brome) · B. arvensis (Field Brome) · B. benekkenii (Brome) · B. berterianus (Chilean Brome) · B. biebersteinii (Meadow Brome) · B. brevis (Pampas Brome) · B. briziformis (Rattlesnake Brome) · B. carinatus (California Brome) · B. catharticus (Prairie Grass) · B. ciliatus (Canadian Brome) · B. ciliatus var. ciliatus (Fringed Brome) · B. ciliatus var. richardsonii (Fringed Brome) · B. commutatus (Hairy Brome) · B. danthoniae (Oat Brome) · B. diandrus (Great Brome) · B. erectus (Erect Brome) · B. erectus erectus (Upright Brome) · B. frondosus (Weeping Brome) · B. grandis (Tall Brome) · B. grossus (Whiskered Brome) · B. hordaceus (Soft Chess) · B. hordeaceus (Soft Brome) · B. hordeaceus hordeaceus (Soft Brome) · B. hordeaceus molliformis (Soft Brome) · B. hordeaceus thominei (Soft Brome) · B. hordeaceus subsp. hordeaceus (Downy Brome) · B. hordeaceus subsp. molliformis (Soft Brome) · B. hordeaceus subsp. thominei (Soft Brome) · B. inermis (Awnless Brome) · B. inermis inermis (Awnless Brome) · B. inermis inermis var. inermis (Smooth Brome) · B. inermis pumpellianus (Pumpelly's Brome) · B. inermis pumpellianus var. pumpellianus (Pumpelly's Brome) · B. inermis var. arcticus (Awnless Brome) · B. inermis var. inermis (Smooth Brome) · B. inermis subsp. pumpellianus (Pumpelly's Brome) · B. inermis 'Skinner's Gold' (Skinner's Gold Smooth Brome) · B. japonicus (Japanese Brome) · B. kalmii (Arctic Brome) · B. laevipes (Chinook Brome) · B. lanatipes (Woolly Brome) · B. lanceolatus (Mediterranean Brome) · B. latiglumis (Broad-Glumed Brome) · B. lepidus (Slender Soft Brome) · B. lithobius (Chilean Brome) · B. luzonensis (Hoary Brome) · B. madritensis (Compact Brome) · B. madritensis madritensis (Spanish Brome) · B. mango (Mango Brome) · B. marginatus (Mountain Brome) · B. marginatus var. marginatus (Large Mountain Brome) · B. maritimus (Seaside Brome) · B. mollis non (Soft Chess) · B. mucroglumis (Arizona Brome) · B. nottowayanus (Nottoway Brome Grass) · B. orcuttianus (Orcutt Brome) · B. orcuttianus var. orcuttianus (Orcutt's Brome) · B. pacificus (Pacific Brome) · B. pinnatus (Heath False Brome) · B. polyanthus (Basin Brome) · B. polyanthus var. paniculatus (Great Basin Brome) · B. polyanthus var. polyanthus (Great Basin Brome) · B. porteri (Nodding Brome) · B. pseudolaevipes (Coast Range Brome) · B. pubescens (Hairy Wood Brome Grass) · B. pumpellianus (Northern Awnless Brome) · B. racemosus (Bald Brome) · B. ramosus (Bald Brome) · B. ramosus benekenii (Hairy Brome) · B. ramosus ramosus (Hairy Brome) · B. richardsonii (Richardson's Fringed Brome) · B. richardsonii var. richardsonii (Richardson´s Brome) · B. rigidus (Ripgut Brome) · B. riparius (Meadow Brome) · B. rubens (Foxtail Brome) · B. scoparius (Broom Brome) · B. secalinus (Bromegrass) · B. sitchensis (Alaska Brome) · B. sitchensis var. sitchensis (Sitka Brome) · B. squarrosus (Corn Brome) · B. squarrosus squarrosus (Corn Brome) · B. stamineus (Roadside Brome) · B. sterilis (Barren Bromegrass) · B. suksdorfii (Suksdorf's Brome) · B. tectorum (Cheat Grass) · B. tectorum var. tectorum (Cheatgrass) · B. texensis (Texas Brome) · B. unioloides (Prairie Grass) · B. vulgaris (Columbia Brome) · B. willdenowii (Prairie Grass)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 14, 2007:



  1. Shou-liang Chen, De-Zhu Li, Guanghua Zhu, Zhenlan Wu, Sheng-lian Lu, Liang Liu, Zheng-ping Wang, Bi-xing Sun, Zheng-de Zhu, Nianhe Xia, Liang-zhi Jia, Zhenhua Guo, Wenli Chen, Xiang Chen, Yang Guangyao, Sylvia M. Phillips, Chris Stapleton, Robert J. Soreng, Susan G. Aiken, Nikolai N. Tzvelev, Paul M. Peterson, Stephen A. Renvoize, Marina V. Olonova & Klaus Ammann "Poaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 22. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. Liang Liu, Guanghua Zhu & Klaus Ammann "Bromus". in Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 370, 371. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  3. Mean = 98.650 meters (323.655 feet), Standard Deviation = 138.940 based on 3,012 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
Last Revised: 2015-02-06