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Topics : Species and Forage Variety Trials : Species Fact Sheets : Smooth Bromegrass

Species: Smooth Bromegrass

Additional smooth bromegrass information via the Forage Information System (FIS)

Characteristics & Adaptation of Smooth Bromegrass

Smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis L.) is a leafy, sod-forming perennial grass that is best suited for hay or early spring pasture. It is deep- rooted and spreads by underground rhizomes. It matures somewhat later in the spring than orchardgrass and makes less summer growth than orchardgrass. Forage quality of smooth bromegrass compares well with other cool-season grasses, being affected primarily by stage of maturity.

Smooth bromegrass is the most widely used cool-season grass in North America. It is grown extensively in Canada and the north-central United States. Smooth bromegrass survives periods of drought and extremes in temperature. It can be grown on a variety of soil types, but it grows best on well-drained silt-loam or clay- loam soils. It is fairly tolerant of alkalinity and somewhat tolerant of salinity and acidity but will perform best at a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 (Table 1).

Adapted Smooth Bromegrass Varieties

Saratoga, a variety recommended for many years in Pennsylvania, is a vigorous, high- yielding and persistent variety which is adapted to well-drained soils. Baylor, like Saratoga, is a high- yielding and persistent variety in Pennsylvania. These varieties start growing earlier in the spring and stay green longer than "common" bromegrass. Common bromegrass is not a variety but a bromegrass of uncertain genetic makeup.