Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Brome, smooth
Bįįh tł’óh

Herbarium specimen showing roots, leaf blades, and seedheads

Smooth brome is a leafy, sod-forming, perennial grass that spreads by rhizomes. It is native in some areas of the United States, and provides good erosion control in areas that receive over 20 inches of rain per year.

The grass is highly palatable, is high in protein content, and relatively low in crude fiber content, making it a good forage species for livestock. The stems vary in height from 2 to 4 feet. The plant produces numerous basal and stem leaves that vary in length from 4 to 10 inches. Frequently the leaves are marked by a transverse wrinkle resembling a "W" a short distance below the tip.

The flowerhead develops a characteristic rich purplish-brown color when mature. The seed is produced in semi-compact 5-inch-long panicles with ascending branches. The flat, compressed seed is usually awnless, about 1/3 inch long, and smooth.

Smooth brome grassland habitat
Delicate structure of open panicle
Close-up of flowers in panicle
Feathery structure of panicle bending the stem with its weight
Close-up of red-tinged green seeds

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