Sand Brome

Bromus arenarius Labill.

Synonyms - Serrafalcus arenarius

Family: Poaceae.

Names:

Bromus is the Greek word for oats.
Sand Brome because of its preference for sandy soils.

Other Names:

Australian Chess
Native Brome
Sea side Brome
Wild Oats

Summary:

A winter growing, annual grass with a drooping, awned seed head and limp leaves.

Description:

Cotyledons:

One

Leaves:

Blade - Parallel sided. Softly, densely covered with short or long hairs to almost hairless. 40-150 mm x 1-4 mm. Flat. Limp.
Ligule - Membranous. Rounded. Torn and almost fringed on top.
Auricles - None.

Stems:

Tufted. 300-450 mm tall. Erect or bending upwards. Sparsely hairy or hairless.

Flower head:

Loose pyramidal, pale or purplish panicle. 40-150 mm long. Spreading branches. Initially erect, later loose and drooping. Fine, gracefully curving stalks, 50-70 mm long, almost in rings around the main stalk and bearing 1-4 spikelets.

Flowers:

Spikelets - Flattened, rounded on the back. On fine stalks that are often curved. Narrow egg shaped to lance shaped. 20-40 mm long including awns. Narrowed near tip. Pale or purplish. 5-14 florets.
Florets - Bisexual.
Glumes - Persistent. Rough to touch. Rounded on back. Tip pointed. Lower one, 6-8 mm long, 3-4 nerved. Upper one 8-11 mm long, 5-7 nerved.
Palea - 2 keeled. 8-11 mm long. Hairs on keels.
Lemma - Oblong to narrowly egg shaped. 12-15 mm long. Rough to touch. Spread with age. Occasionally hairy. 7 big ribs or nerves. Edges papery. Tip has 2 papery lobes. Awn, rigid, pale or purplish, straight or slightly curved, rough to touch, 10-17 mm long, attached to back of lemma, flattened at the base.
Stamens - 3.
Anthers -

Fruit:

Seeds:

Roots:

Fibrous.

Key Characters:

Biology:

Life cycle:

Annual. Flowers from July to October.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

July to October.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

None.

Hybrids:

There appears to be 3 variants, based on hairiness of the glumes, lemma and palea, attachment of the awn and length of the lemma.

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Origin and History:

Australia.
This is the only native species in the Brome family.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Soil:

Sandy soils, stony hillsides.
Less common on loams and clays.

Plant Associations:

Shrub and woodlands.

Significance:

Beneficial:

Fodder of moderate value when young and green. Ungrazed when dry.

Detrimental:

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

Toxicity:

Not recorded as toxic.

Legislation:

None.

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.

Thresholds:

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:

None reported.

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Drooping Brome (Bromus tectorum) is mainly in Victoria and NSW and not recorded in WA.
Great Brome (Bromus diandrus var. diandrus and Bromus diandrus var. rigidus)
Madrid Brome (Bromus madritensis) tends to occur in drier areas.
Mediterranean Brome (Bromus lanceolatus) is not naturalised in WA and occurs mainly in Victoria and SA.
Prairie grass (Bromus catharticus)
Red Brome (Bromus rubens) tends to occur in drier areas.
Sand Brome (Bromus arenarius) is a native species.
Soft Brome (Bromus hordeaceus = Bromus mollis = Bromus molliformis)
Weedy Brome (Bromus alopecuros) Occasionally found in wheatbelt areas.

Plants of similar appearance:

References:

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P138. Diagram.

Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P68. Photo.

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). #200.1.

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). P944.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information for more information.