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Bromus inermis - Leyss.

Common Name Smooth Brome, Pumpelly's brome
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range N. Europe, eastwards to China.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Bromus inermis Smooth Brome,  Pumpelly
Bromus inermis Smooth Brome,  Pumpelly


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Bromus inermis is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Bromopsis inermis (Leyss.) Holub. Bromus erectus Ledeb. [Invalid]. Bromus glabrescens Honda.


 Meadow; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

None known


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


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Other Uses

Soil stabilization

An excellent plant to grow for controlling soil erosion because of its fast-growing interlocking root system[269]. It is especially valuable in semi-arid regions, such as the Prairie Provinces of Canada and the Great Plains of the United States[269]. Growth starts early in spring with a further period of growth in early autumn under favourable moisture conditions[269].

Special Uses


Cultivation details

Best adapted to regions with moderate rainfall and moderate cool summer temperatures, it is suited to silt or clay soils and deep loams, but also does well on light sandy soils and on well-drained soils. Plants are less drought resistant than crested wheatgrass and they do not tolerate temperature extremes. Smooth brome is suited for irrigated areas but is not recommended for saline or alkali soils[269]. Smooth brome is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 32 to 176cm, an annual average temperature range of 4.3 to 19.9°C and a pH in the range of 4.9 to 8.2[269]. Smooth brome is also reported to tolerate alkali conditions, disease, drought, frost, fungi, grazing, mycobacterium, salt, viruses, and weeds[269].. There are a number of named varieties, selected mainly as hay and pasture crops. These cultivars are divided into two groups, northern and southern. The southern group is less cold-hardy and does not survive average winter conditions further north than southern Minnesota in N. America, the northern group is much more cold tolerant[269]. The genus Bromus contains many complex, polyploid series. Bromus inermis belongs to section Bromopsis, containing wild species with chromosome numbers ranging from 2x to 8x. Following its introduction to North America, smooth broome, an aggressive species, has tended to replace native American species of sect. Bromopsis, especially B. pumpellianus. Hybridization studies have been made between: B. inermis, 8x; B. pumpellianus, 8x; and material of the introduced B. erectus complex (6x, 8x, 10x, though the last is probably itself hybrid). An objective of these studies was to incorporate into inermis the larger seeds of pumpellianus and better seedling vigour of erectus. The three species are related, crossable and give quite fertile hybrids. Collections of B. inermis in North America show varying meiotic irregularity and aneuploidy. This is probably a result of introgression from B. pumpellianus and the B. erectus complex. Quite a high degree of meiotic irregularity may be tolerated under natural conditions in a long lived, cross- pollinated species such as B. inermis, which can spread aggressively by rhizomes[269].


Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Seed - sow spring in situ. The seedbed should be firm and seed should not be covered to more than 6 - 13 mm depth. Seed rates of 3.3 kilos per hectare are used when the plant is sown in a pure stand, though it is more often sown in a mixture with various legumes such as alfalfa, sweet clover, red clover or Lotus corniculatus[269]. There are approximately 300,000 seeds per kilo[269].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Arctic brome, Pumpelly's brome (subsp. pumpellianus), Austrian bromegrass, Russian bromegrass, awnless brome, Hungarian brome, Hungarian bromegrass, smooth brome, smooth bromegrass, (subsp. inermis). French: brome inerme, brome sans arêtes. German: unbegrannte Trespe, wehrlose Trespe. Portuguese: capim-cevadilha. Spanish: bromo de Hungría.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

This plant can be weedy or invasive.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Bromus breviaristatusMountain BromePerennial0.8 -  LMHSNDM10 
Bromus carinatusCalifornian BromeAnnual/Biennial0.8 4-8  LMHSNDM101
Bromus japonicusJapanese Chess, Field bromeAnnual/Biennial0.8 7-10  LMHSNDM10 
Bromus mangoMango, Mango bromeBiennial1.0 0-0  LMHSNM20 
Bromus marginatusMountain BromePerennial1.0 -  LMHSNDM10 
Bromus ramosusHairy BromePerennial1.5 4-8  LMHSNDM01 
Bromus rigidusRipgut BromeAnnual1.0 6-9  LMHNDM10 
Bromus tectorumCheat Grass, Downy BromeAnnual1.0 7-10  LMHNDM111
Bromus thominiiSoft BromeBiennial0.8 3-7  LMHSNDM10 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

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Readers comment

LoonyK   Wed Jun 18 2008

This is an edible plant. It has a similar taste to a dark green lettuce. Commonly used as a famine food.

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