Downy brome

Bromus tectorum L. Poaceae (Grass family)

Life cycle

Prostrate winter annual.

downy brome plant
Downy brome plant.


Both leaf surfaces and sheath are densely hairy. Leaves are rolled in the bud. Light green leaves have a distinctive twist and are soft to the touch.


Membranous with a fringe of hairs.


Erect and clump-forming, up to 24 inches tall.

Flowers and fruit

The seedhead is a soft, dense, purple-tinged, drooping panicle at maturity that produces large, yellowish brown seeds. Seeds also have characteristically long awns.



downy brome in wheat
Downy brome in wheat.

Similar weeds:

Cheat (Bromus secalinus L.)
Differs by having smooth or sparsely hairy leaves and shorter awns than those of downy brome.

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