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Bromus catharticus Vahl
Family Poaceae
Common name: Prairie Grass

Bromus catharticus Vahl APNI*

Synonyms: Bromus unioloides Kunth APNI*
Bromus willdenowii Kunth APNI*

Description: Densely-tufted, robust annuals or short-lived perennials to c. 1 m tall. Culms erect or spreading, stout, unbranched, smooth, with obvious pigmented hairless nodes.

Sheaths villous to puberulent; ligule obtuse, often laciniate, 4–5 mm long, puberulent; blade linear, flat, attenuate, to 30 cm long, to 8 mm wide, slightly hairy on upper surface.

Inflorescence large, open, pyramidal, 10–30 cm long, primary branches whorled. Spikelets oblong to lanceolate, very strongly compressed, 6–12-flowered, 15–35 mm long. Glumes acuminate, strongly keeled, lower 7-nerved, 7–10 mm long; upper glume 9-nerved, 10–12 mm long. Lemmas keeled, 14–18 mm long; awn absent or short; palea c. 65% length of the lemma.

Photo L. von Richter

Flowering: Spring.

Distribution and occurrence:

Widespread weed, but only growing in isolated patches, especially cultivated or moist, shady, ungrazed areas. Also grown as a pasture species; the seed is imported from U.S.A. and, when first planted, produces a perennial pasture that quickly appears to be replaced by annual or short-lived perennial forms.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP, *NFWP, *SFWP, *LHI
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *W.A. *S.A.
AVH map***

Text by Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B.
Taxon concept: Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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