Bromus racemosus L.

Locations ofBromus racemosus L. in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Bromus racemosus L.
Common Name
Smooth Brome, Bald Brome, Meadow Brome, Hairy Chess
Bromus commutatus Schrad.
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Bromus racemosus L. + Bromus commutatus Schrader
Due to a long history of confusion and difficulties in trying to distinguish Bromus commutatus and Bromus racemosus among Virginia herbarium specimens, we have followed the lead of Gleason (1952), as others have, in lumping the two taxa. Both are weedy taxa with a high degree of variability. Although maintained as separate species by Spalton (Watsonia (2002)), his studies showed great overlap in traditional characters; only panicle length provided a reliable separation. Numerous other European authors prefer subspecies status. Most Virginia specimens identified as B. racemosus do not fit that taxon in the strict sense. Until we are able to map these entities reliably, the name B. racemosus is interpreted in the broad sense to include B. commutatus.
Fields, roadsides, and other open, disturbed habitats. The relative distribution and abundance of this species and the closely related Bromus commutatus are poorly understood; collectively the two taxa are common throughout Virginia.
Native Status

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