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Weed Identification

field brome



Scientific Name

Bromus arvensis

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Bromus japonicus var. anatolicus
Bromus japonicus
Bromus japonicus var. porrectus
Bromus anatolicus
Bromus patulus


Field brome is an upright annual with culms that can reach up to 3 feet tall.


Leaves of field brome are glabrous to slightly pubescent on both sides and are thin, less than a quarter of an inch broad.

Identifying Characteristics

Field brome is a winter annual. It produces dense, low leafy growth in the fall. Spring growth starts earlier than most other annual grasses used for cover crops. It does not have creeping stolons or rhizomes, but tillers profusely.The principal characteristics that make it an outstanding cover crop are the extensive fibrous root system and the relatively short top growth. It is winter hardy in northeast and north central regions. It grows vigorously under high fertility and often smothers other grasses or weeds. It is an excellent seed producer and can maintain itself as a reseeding annual. There are 250,000 seeds per pound.

Flower Seed Head

Inflorescence is a drooping panicle, 4-12 inches long,

Seed Fruit

It produces seedheads in late spring or early summer. Seed stalks are 2 to 3 feet tall.

Where Found

Field brome does best on medium textured soils that are moderately well-drained to well-drained. It has done well in lowlands subject to flooding and on sloping, gravelly soils. The most suitable pH range is between 6.0 and 7.0. Field brome can be found throughout the United States.

Leaf Hair on Upper Surface

hairs from base to tip

Leaf Arrangement

rolled in bud

Mature Leaf Width

less than 5 mm
6 to 15 mm


flat or oval



Root Structure


Life Cycle

winter annual


not present



Ligule Length

less than 1 mm
1-2 mm

Plant Type