field brome USDA PLANTS Symbol: BRAR5
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Grass or Grasslike
Bromus arvensis L.

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Taxonomic Rank: Liliopsida: Cyperales: Poaceae
Synonym(s): Japanese chess
Native Range: Eurasia (BAIL);

Bromus arvensis is an annual in the grass family (Poaceae). It is a cool season, annual grass that can range in height from 14-40 in.
Leaf blades are flat, covered with soft, distinct, thin hair, approximately 1-8 in. in length, and 1/32-1/16 of an in. wide. Sheaths are covered with dense, soft hairs. Ligules are 1/64-1/16 of an in. long and auricles are absent.
Inflorescence is an open panicle, 2-7 in. long with spreading, usually drooping branches. Spikelets are 6 to 10 flowered, 1/2-1 in. in length, and 1/8-1/4 of an inch wide. First glumes are usually 3- to 5- nerved, 1/8-1/4 of an inch long. Second glumes are 5- to 9-nerved and 1/4-1/2 of an inch in length.
Lemmas are broader at the upper-half, tapering to the bottom, with margins not strongly enrolled in the fruit. Awns are 1/4-3/4 in. long, somewhat twisted and widely spread at maturity.
Ecological Threat
Bromus arvensis can be found on a wide variety of soils that include sand, silt, and clay, but thrives on fine-textured soils. Waste areas, disturbed sites, roadsides, pastures, rangelands, and wheat fields are areas where Bromus arvensis can establish. The plant is a common component of many mixed prairie communities. It is an aggressive species that out-competes desirable vegetation for water and soil nutrients, thus reducing plant biodiversity. Forage production of perennial grasses and grazing performance is also reduced in areas infested with Bromus arvensis.

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at

Flower(s); Dried flowers
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy,
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s); inflorescence.
Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California - Davis,
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s); spikelets.
Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California - Davis,
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Stem(s); collar and sheath.
Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California - Davis,
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit

State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Badlands National Park (South Dakota)
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Utah)
Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
Scotts Bluff National Monument (Nebraska)
Stones River National Battlefield (Tennessee)
Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)

Invasive Listing Sources:
California Invasive Plant Council
California Invasive Plant Council
Faith Campbell, 1998
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Pacific Northwest Exotic Pest Plant Council, 1998