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Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet

Family: Gramineae
Bromus

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 76 (1753).

Derivation: Greek bromos, some kind of oat.

Synonymy: Ceratochloa DC. & P. Beauv. in P. Beauv., Agrost. 75 (1812); Serrafalcus Parl., Rar. Pl. Sicilia 2:14 (1840).

Common name: Bromes.

Description:
Annual or perennial; leaves flat; ligule membranous; inflorescence a panicle or reduced to a raceme.

Spikelets laterally compressed, with several florets collectively exceeding the glumes; rhachilla disarticulating below each floret leaving the glumes intact; glumes unequal, the upper larger, each with 1-9 veins; lemma with several to 13 veins, herbaceous or coriaceus with scarious margins, usually with an awn arising below a 2-fid apex, rounded or keeled on the back; styles inserted laterally below a terminal hairy appendage.

Grain with a linear hilum as long as the grain, strongly adherent to the palea and tightly enclosed by the lemma.

Distribution:  About 50 species widely distributed in temperate and tropical climates.

Biology: No text

Uses: Many of the annual species are weeds of cultivated land and waste places while Bromus catharticus, prairie grass, and a number of other perennial species are cultivated for forage.

Taxonomic notes: The genus has been subdivided by some authors, C. A. Gardner (1952) Flora of Western Australia 1, N. T. Burbidge (1970) Australian grasses 3, and J.P. Jessop in J. Black (1978) Flora of South Australia edn 3. The single genus status applied here to our species is in accord with the treatment by P.M. Smith in T. G. Tutin et al. (1980) Flora Europaea 5.

Key to Species:
1. Lower glume l-nerved, upper 3-nerved; spikelets wider at the top at anthesis and at maturity
 
2. Lower glume exceeding 15 mm, the upper c. 20 mm long; awn at least 30 mm
 
3. Some panicle branches usually much longer than 20 mm and spreading; callus scar almost circular
B. diandrus 3.
3. Panicle branches short, to 20 mm, stiffly erect; callus scar elliptic
B. rigidus 7.
2. Lower glume less than 10 mm, the upper less than 15 mm; awn to 28 mm long
 
4. Stem glabrous; panicle open, with flexuous branches and pedicels, with 1 or 2 (rarely 3) spikelets; awn much longer than the lemma
B. madritensis 6.
4. Stem pubescent below the panicle; panicle branches short, rigid, with 1-5 spikelets in clusters on very short pedicels; awn about as long as the lemma
B. rubens 8.
1. Lower glume 3-5-nerved, the upper 5-9-nerved; spikelets lanceolate, tapering towards the top at anthesis
 
5. Annuals; lemma rounded on the back and prominently toothed at the apex; awn as long as the lemma
 
6. Panicle loose, with long capillary branches and pedicels; spikelets spreading at maturity
B. arenarius 1.
6. Panicle dense, with short erect branches; spikelets closed at maturity
 
7. Lemma rarely exceeding 9 mm; awn not flattened or twisted, erect
B. hordeaceus 4.
7. Lemma 11-20 mm; awn flat, twisted and spreading horizontally
B. lanceolatus 5.
5. Perennial; lemma strongly compressed, keeled, tip of lemma very shortly 2-fid; awn absent or short
B. catharticus 2.

Author: Not yet available


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