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University of Minnesota Extension

Smooth brome grass

Quick facts

Smooth brome grass is an invasive species.

  • Smooth brome grass prefers moist soils and sunny locations.
  • It is found in degraded prairies, roadside ditches and moist, wooded areas.
  • Considered invasive in many parts of North America.
  • In areas it becomes invasive it can form dense stands that exclude native species and impact native arthropod population dynamics in prairies.

Smooth brome grass should be reported. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provides detailed recommendations for reporting invasive species.

How to identify smooth brome grass

  • Perennial cool-season grass, two to three feet tall.


  • Hairless, vertical stem.


  • Conspicuous M- or W-shaped constriction on blade.


  • Open panicle (main axis with subdivided branching), vertical with ascending branches.
  • Blooms in June and July.


  • Reproduces vegetatively through rhizomes.


Smooth brome grass
Smooth brome grass

Angela Gupta, Extension educator; Amy Rager, Extension educator; Megan M. Weber, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2019

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