Weeds - Grass Weeds Information and Photo Gallery

Barren brome


Barren brome (Anisantha sterilis) is an annual grass that can grow to 100 cm in height. The plant is usually a light green in colour, but is tinged with purple after flowering. The leaves are flat, soft and hairy with the youngest leaves rolling. The flower head occurs on a long stalk and tends to droop. The flowers are grouped into spikelets. Seeds are relatively large up to a cm in length.

Occurrence and spread

Barren brome is a common weed on farms and will grow on any soil. It can become a serious weed in field margins. However, it can often reach pest proportions on light, sandy and well-drained land. It also rapidly becomes a nuisance on waste land. Barren brome occurs throughout the UK but is less common in Scotland and Wales than England preferring the lowlands.

Although classified as an annual weed the plant produces many seeds late summer, which germinate rapidly after shedding. These continue to grow through the winter to flower early the following year. Consequently three generations can occur in two years causing a rapid expansion in the populations of these weeds. The seed remains viable for up to two years. Seeds are small and rough and can embed in the feet and fur of both domestic and wild animals.

Control and management

Economic control threshold is approximately 2 plant every 1 square metre. Serious infestations in field margins can be controlled selectively by Fusilade Max, a herbicide containing fluazifop-P-butyl. Apply when the weeds are present as seedlings or young plants but when non-target perennial grasses are present as large well-established plants making minimal growth. Apply during the Autumn and only one application is permitted.

Sulfosulfuron (e.g. Attribute, Monitor) will provide good control in winter wheat. In spring apply a sequence of two sprays  with a 3-5 week interval between them. The first spray should be made as early as possible after the Brome two-leaf stage PROVIDED the weed is growing actively; any Brome re-growth should be healthy and growing vigorously before the second application is made. Seek advice from your BASIS qualified adviser.

ADLib logo Content provided by the Agricultural Document Library
© University of Hertfordshire, 2011