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California Brome Grass

Bromus carinatus

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Poaceae (Grass)
Also in this family:
Alpine Catstail, Alpine Foxtail, Alpine Meadow-grass, Annual Beard-grass, Annual Meadow-grass, Arrow Bamboo, Barren Brome Grass, Bearded Couch Grass, Bearded Fescue, Bermuda Grass, Black Bent, Black Grass, Blue Fescue, Blue Moor-grass, Bog Hair-grass, Borrer's Saltmarsh Grass, Bread Wheat, Bristle Bent, Brown Bent, Brown Sedge, Bulbous Foxtail, Bulbous Meadow-grass, Canary Grass, Carnation Sedge, Cocksfoot, Cockspur, Common Bent, Common Cord-grass, Common Millet, Common Reed, Common Saltmarsh Grass, Compact Brome Grass, Corn, Couch Grass, Creeping Bent, Creeping Soft-grass, Crested Dog's-tail, Crested Hair-grass, Cultivated Oat, Curved Hard Grass, Cut Grass, Dense Silky Bent, Downy Oat-grass, Drooping Brome Grass, Drooping Tor Grass, Dune Fescue, Early Hair-grass, Early Meadow-grass, Early Sand-grass, False Brome Grass, False Oat-grass, Fern Grass, Fine-leaved Sheep's Fescue, Flattened Meadow-grass, Floating Sweet-grass, Foxtail Barley, French Oat, Giant Fescue, Glaucous Meadow-grass, Great Brome Grass, Greater Quaking Grass, Grey Hair-grass, Hairy Brome Grass, Hairy Finger-grass, Hard Fescue, Hard Grass, Harestail Grass, Heath Grass, Holy Grass, Hybrid Marram Grass, Italian Rye Grass, Knotroot Bristlegrass, Lesser Hairy Brome Grass, Lesser Quaking Grass, Loose Silky Bent, Lyme Grass, Marram Grass, Marsh Foxtail, Mat Grass, Mat-grass Fescue, Meadow Barley, Meadow Fescue, Meadow Foxtail, Meadow Oat-grass, Mountain Melick, Narrow-leaved Meadow-grass, Narrow-leaved Small-reed, Neglected Couch Grass, Nit Grass, Orange Foxtail, Pampas Grass, Perennial Rye Grass, Plicate Sweet-grass, Purple Moor-grass, Purple Small-reed, Purple-stem Catstail, Quaking Grass, Ratstail Fescue, Red Fescue, Reed Canary Grass, Reed Sweet-grass, Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass, Rescue Grass, Rough Meadow-grass, Rush-leaved Fescue, Sand Catstail, Sand Couch Grass, Scandinavian Small-reed, Scottish Small-reed, Sea Barley, Sea Couch Grass, Sea Fern Grass, Sheep's Fescue, Silver Hair-grass, Six-rowed Barley, Slender Brome Grass, Small Cord-grass, Small Sweet-grass, Smaller Catstail, Smooth Brome Grass, Smooth Cord-grass, Smooth Finger-grass, Smooth Meadow-grass, Soft Brome Grass, Somerset Hair-grass, Sorghum, Spreading Meadow-grass, Squirreltail Fescue, Stiff Brome Grass, Stiff Saltmarsh Grass, Sweet Vernal Grass, Tall Fescue, Timothy Grass, Tor Grass, Tufted Hair-grass, Two-rowed Barley, Upright Brome Grass, Velvet Bent, Viviparous Fescue, Wall Barley, Wavy Hair-grass, Wavy Meadow-grass, Whorl Grass, Wild Oat, Wood Barley, Wood Fescue, Wood Meadow-grass, Wood Melick, Wood Millet, Yellow Oat-grass, Yorkshire Fog
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
120 centimetres tall
Grassland, meadows, mountains, riversides, roadsides, wasteland, waterside.

Green, no petals
5-7 flowered drooping flattened spikelets, longer than wide. The awns are 2-5mm long.
One-seeded dry fruit (caryopsis).
Softly hairy, linear leaves.
Other Names:
Mountain Brome.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Bromus carinatus, also known as California brome or mountain brome, is a species of grass native to the western United States and Canada. It is a perennial bunchgrass that can grow up to 1.2 meters tall. It has flat leaf blades and a distinctive, hairy seedhead that resembles a broom. The seedhead is about 20-30 cm long and is composed of several long, narrow, purple-tinged spikes that are crowded together.

It is typically found in open, dry to moist habitats at higher elevations, such as mountain meadows, sagebrush and chaparral communities, and along streambanks and other riparian areas. It can be used as a forage grass for grazing animals, it is also a good option as a revegetation grass. It's also considered to be a good plant for stabilizing disturbed soils and controlling erosion. It is well adapted to cold temperatures and drought and it may have a potential as a biofuel crop, as it is a productive, hardy and native grass. However, more research is needed to evaluate its potential as biofuel crop.


California Brome Grass, also known as Bromus carinatus, is a perennial grass that is native to California, Oregon, and Washington. It is a highly adaptable species that can thrive in a variety of environments, from sea level to high elevations, and is commonly found in meadows, grasslands, and oak woodlands. In this blog, we will explore the characteristics and uses of California Brome Grass, as well as its ecological and cultural significance.

Physical Characteristics

California Brome Grass typically grows to a height of 1 to 4 feet, with erect stems and long, narrow leaves that can reach up to 12 inches in length. The seedheads are large and open, with drooping branches that can extend up to 8 inches long. The seeds themselves are about 1/8 inch long and can be dark brown or black.


California Brome Grass has a number of uses and benefits. It is an excellent forage plant for livestock, providing high-quality forage that is highly palatable and nutritious. It is also used for erosion control, as it has a deep root system that helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion.

In addition, California Brome Grass has a number of medicinal uses. Native Californians used the seeds and leaves of the plant to treat a variety of ailments, including coughs, colds, and fevers. The seeds were also used as a food source, either roasted or ground into flour.

Ecological Significance

California Brome Grass plays an important role in California's ecosystems. It provides habitat and food for a variety of wildlife, including birds, rodents, and insects. The plant's deep root system helps to improve soil structure and increase soil fertility, which can have a positive impact on the surrounding ecosystem.

Cultural Significance

California Brome Grass has played an important role in the culture and history of California. Native Californians used the plant for food, medicine, and basketry. The plant was also an important component of traditional ceremonies and rituals.

Today, California Brome Grass is still an important part of California's cultural heritage. It is used in a variety of traditional crafts, including basketry and weaving. In addition, the plant's ecological significance and ability to thrive in a variety of environments make it an important component of California's natural heritage.

California Brome Grass is a highly adaptable species that plays an important role in California's ecosystems and cultural heritage. Its deep root system helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion, while providing high-quality forage for livestock and food and medicine for humans. As we continue to work to protect and preserve California's natural and cultural heritage, it is important that we recognize the importance of species like California Brome Grass and work to protect and promote their growth and health.

More Information

Despite its many benefits, California Brome Grass can also present challenges in certain contexts. For example, it is considered an invasive species in some regions outside of its native range, including parts of the Pacific Northwest and Australia. In these areas, the plant can outcompete native vegetation and reduce biodiversity.

Management strategies for California Brome Grass may include a combination of grazing, mowing, and herbicide application to control its growth and spread. However, care must be taken to avoid damaging the plant's deep root system, which is an important part of its ecological function.

In recent years, there has also been interest in using California Brome Grass as a potential biofuel crop. Research has shown that the plant has a high biomass yield and can be grown using sustainable agricultural practices. However, more research is needed to determine the feasibility of this approach and its potential environmental impacts.

California Brome Grass is a fascinating and important species that deserves our attention and respect. As we work to manage and protect our natural resources, it is crucial that we consider the ecological, cultural, and economic significance of species like this one and strive to find sustainable solutions that benefit both people and the planet.

One of the unique aspects of California Brome Grass is its ability to adapt to different environmental conditions. This makes it an important plant for ecosystem restoration and rehabilitation projects. In areas where the soil has been degraded or disturbed, California Brome Grass can be used to restore soil structure and fertility, stabilize slopes, and prevent erosion.

Additionally, California Brome Grass can provide valuable ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, which can help mitigate the impacts of climate change. By supporting the growth of deep-rooted perennial plants like California Brome Grass, we can increase the amount of carbon stored in the soil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As with any plant species, the conservation of California Brome Grass requires a multifaceted approach that takes into account its ecological, cultural, and economic significance. This may involve habitat restoration and protection efforts, as well as the development of sustainable land management practices that support the growth and health of the plant.

In conclusion, California Brome Grass is a fascinating and important species that plays a critical role in California's ecosystems and cultural heritage. Whether we are working to protect native habitats, restore degraded landscapes, or develop new sustainable agricultural practices, it is crucial that we consider the role of species like California Brome Grass in our efforts to build a more resilient and sustainable future.