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Smooth Bromegrass

Smooth Bromegrass

Description and Adaptation of Smooth Bromegrass (Bromus inermis)

Plant Characteristics

Smooth bromegrass is an erect sod forming perennial ranging in height from 20 to 40 inches. Pure stands of bromegrass are likely to develop a sod-bound condition in three years, unless fertilized with nitrogen. Growth begins early in spring and continues into late fall. Bromegrass makes high quality hay or silage. Protein content is relatively high and crude-fiber content relatively low. It is a palatable pasture plant especially for spring grazing. Smooth bromegrass matures later in the spring and makes less summer growth than orchardgrass.


Smooth bromegrass is a widely adapted cool season grass. It can be grown on a wide variety of soil types, but makes its best growth on moist, well-drained clay to silt loam soils. It produces satisfactorily on sandy soils when there is sufficient moisture, and will survive periods of drought and high temperatures.

Factsheets in this series were prepared by Stephen Herbert, Masoud Hashemi, Carrie Chickering-Sears, and Sarah Weis in collaboration with Ken Miller, Jacqui Carlevale, Katie Campbell-Nelson, and Zack Zenk.

This publication has been funded in part by Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources in a grant to the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, Inc. and by Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection, s319 Program.