Soft brome (Bromus hordeaceus)
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Soft brome, also called soft chess, is a widely distributed annual at lower elevation areas in California, especially in open, disturbed areas. Plants are found mostly up to 3300 feet (about 1000 m) and occasionally up to 7000 feet (2100 m). Soft brome inhabits agricultural land and disturbed sites in plant communities. It is able to colonize sites with low soil fertility.
Grassland, sagebrush communities, rangeland, fields, open disturbed sites, roadsides, orchards, vineyards, and agronomic crop fields.
Seed germination starts in fall.
Young plants grow rapidly during fall with available moisture and slow down through winter. Resuming rapid growth in spring, plants reach maturity in early summer.
Plants reach 4 inches to more than 2 feet (61 cm) tall and are distinguished by dense, soft hairs on sheaths.
Ligules are membranous. There are no auricles.
Soft brome blooms from April through July. Compact spikelets form dense flowering heads with needlelike awns about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch (0.64–1.3 cm) long, usually straight, but sometimes curved outward.
Soft brome reproduces by seed.
Related or similar plants
- Ripgut brome, Bromus diandrus
- Rescuegrass, Bromus catharticus