Plants perennial, annual, or biennial; usually cespitose, sometimes
rhizomatous. Culms 5-190 cm. Sheaths closed to near the top, usually
pubescent; auricles usually absent; ligules membranous, to 6 mm, usually
erose or lacerate; blades generally
flat, rarely involute. Inflorescences
panicles, sometimes racemose, erect or nodding, open or dense, occasionally 1-sided;
branches usually ascending to
spreading, sometimes reflexed or drooping. Spikelets 5-70 mm, terete to laterally compressed, with 3-30 florets; disarticulation above the glumes, beneath
the florets. Glumes unequal, usually
shorter than the adjacent lemmas, always shorter than the spikelets, glabrous
or pubescent, usually acute, rarely mucronate; lower glumes 1-7(9)-veined; upper
glumes 3-9(11)-veined; lemmas 5-13-veined,
rounded to keeled, glabrous or pubescent, apices entire, emarginate, or
toothed, usually terminally or subterminally awned, sometimes with 3 awns or unawned; paleas usually shorter than the
lemmas, ciliate on the keels, adnate to the caryopses; anthers (2)3. x = 7. Name
from the Greek bromos, an ancient
name for -oats-, which was based on broma, -food-.
Spikelets with several to many fls, eventually disarticulating between the lemmas and above the glumes, oval to narrowly oblong, subterete or laterally flattened; glumes somewhat unequal, shorter than the lemmas; lemmas 3-9-veined, 2-toothed at the tip, awnless or more often awned between the teeth; spikelets large, often in lax or drooping panicles; sheaths usually closed nearly to the top. 100, widespread in temp. reg.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.