Madrid Brome

Bromus madritensis L.

Synonyms - Anisantha madritensis.

Family: - Poaceae.


Bromus is the Greek word for oat.

Madritensis refers to its origin near Madrid.

Madrid Brome because it originates near Madrid.

Other Names:

Compact Brome

Lesser Brome

Wall Brome


A winter growing, erect annual grass with hairless stems and an erect purplish seed head.





Old leaves often withered at flowering.

Leaves rolled in the bud.

Blade - Parallel sided. Hairy to almost hairless. Rough to touch. 30-240 mm long by 1-5 mm wide. Flat. Finely pointed at tip.

Ligule - Membranous., toothed.

Auricles - None.

Sheath - Tubular, hairy on the lower leaves.


Tufted. 100-600mm tall. Hairless. Slender. 2-4 nodes. Erect or curved upwards from the lower nodes. Often bent at the nodes.

Flower head:

Dense and brush-like or loose panicle. Erect or slightly inclined. Becomes purplish with age, 70-140 mm long. 15-60 mm wide. Short, erectly spreading, fine, hairless, clustered branches less than 20 mm long, each with 1-2 spikelets. May have hairs at the branch axis.


Spikelets - Flattened. 30-60 mm long including awns. 7-15 florets. Oblong, becoming wedge shaped and open. Rough to touch. Erect or spreading. On short stalks. Often purplish.

Florets - Bisexual. Spread apart at the top. Individual ones detach from the spikelet at maturity. Mature florets sharp at the base.

Glumes - Persistent. Narrow. Hairy or hairless. Lower one 7-9 mm long, 1 nerved, pointed tip. Upper one 10-15 mm long, 3 nerved, pointed tip.

Palea - 2 keeled. Membranous. Sometimes golden brown. 7-14 mm long. Keels with sparse hairs.

Lemma - 10-18 mm long excluding awn, with broad membranous edges. Hairy and rough or hairless. Faintly 5-7 nerved, 2 marginal nerves close together. Awn rough to touch, 12-25 mm long.

Stamens - 3.

Anthers -

Disarticulates above the glumes and below the florets.



Sharp and rigid.



Key Characters:


Life cycle:

Annual. Flowers August to November.



Flowering times:

August to November in SA.

October to November in WA.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:



Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Origin and History:

Mediterranean and Europe.






Sandy soils.

Plant Associations:



Fodder with reasonable value when young and green but ignored by stock when dry.


Seeds injure mouth, eyes and noses of stock and contaminate wool.

Weed of cultivation, disturbed areas and pastures.


None recorded.



Management and Control:

In pastures, graze heavily early in the season to reduce establishment and in spring to reduce seed set. Burn grassy stubble. Increase P, K and trace elements and reduce N applications. Plant competitive pasture species.


Eradication strategies:

Preventing seed set for 1-2 years will provide control. Mowing and cultivation is usually effective whilst burning is more variable. 500 mL/ha of glyphosate(450g/L) applied when the grass is very young or flowering is fairly selective in native vegetation, cheap and effective. Both an early and late application may be needed. For hand spraying, use 10 mL glyphosate in 10 L water and spray until just wet.

Selective control amongst broad-leaved plants can usually be achieved with 100 mL/ha Verdict®520 or 800 mL/ha Fusilade®Forte or 500 mL/ha quizalofop(100g/L) plus 1% spray oil. For hand spraying, use 100 mL of spray oil plus 2 mL Verdict®520 or 16 mL Fusilade®Forte or 10 mL quizalofop(100g/L) per 10 L water.

In bushland areas replant shrub and tree species if necessary to provide shade and help stop re-infestation.

Avoid introducing new seed in contaminated produce.

Herbicide resistance:

Non reported.

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Drooping Brome (B. tectorum).

Great Brome (B. diandrus)

Mediterranean Brome (B. lanceolatus)

Prairie grass (B. catharticus)

Red Brome (B. rubens)

Sand Brome (Bromus arenarius)

Soft Brome (B. hordeaceus)

Soft Brome (B. molliformis)

Plants of similar appearance:

Downy Brome (B. tectorum). Flower head droops to one side and branches have up to 8 spikelets that are only 25-35 mm long.


Black, J.M. (1978). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P136. Diagram.

Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P30.

Ciba Geigy (1981) Grass Weeds 2. CIBA GEIGY Ltd, Basle, Switzerland. P42. Diagrams.

Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P69. Diagram.

Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #200.7.

Marchant, N.G., Wheeler, J.R., Rye, B.L., Bennett, E.M., Lander, N.S. and Macfarlane, T.D. (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P945.

Paterson, J.G. (1977). Grasses in South Western Australia. (Western Australian Department of Agriculture Bulletin 4007). P32.


Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or for more information.