Brachypodium distachyon (L.) Beauv.


=Bromus distachyos


Poaceae (Grass Family)




Purple False Brome     

                              May Photo


Plant Characteristics: Annual, branched and geniculate at base, 1.5-3 dm. high, with pubescent nodes; sheaths and blades sparsely pilose to subglabrous; ligule 1.5-2 mm. long, pubescent; blades flat, 3-4 mm. wide; raceme strict, the segms. of the axis alternately concave; spikelets 1-5, +/- imbricate, 2-3.5 cm. long, 5-6 mm. wide; fls. disarticulating above the glumes and between the florets; glumes unequal, sharp pointed, 5 and 7 nerved; lemmas firm, scabrous, rounded, +/- flattened on the back, 8-9 mm. long, 7-nerved, with a minutely bifid apex;  palea as long as the body of the lemma, concave, the keels pectinate-ciliate; awns slender, erect, 1-2 cm. additional.


Habitat:  Becoming established occasionally as at Santa Catalina Id., near Torrey Pines Park; n. Calif.  April-May. (Munz, Flora So Calif. 950).  Disturbed areas below 600 m. southern North Coastal Ranges, southern Cascade Ranges, Sierra Nevada Foothills, great Central Valley, central western California, south coast.  (Hickman, Ed. 1239).


Name:  Greek, brachys, short and podion, foot, because of the short pedicels.  (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 950).  Dista-chyus, two-spiked. (Bailey 14).  Referring to the minutely bifid apex of the lemma.  (my comment).  John Johnson thinks that the species name may refer to the terminal pair of spikelets rather than the lemma. 


General:  Uncommon in the study area, having been found only a few times; first in Big Canyon in 1990 under a canopy of willows and in 1995 in a clearing on the bluff below Eastbluff North.  In 2005, found again on the south-facing bank of upper Big Canyon and in 2006 on the bay side of Back Bay Dr. between Newporter Canyon and San Joaquin Hill Dr.  (my comment).      Two American species only.  (Hitchcock 56).     About 15 spp. mostly in temp. regions.  (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 950).


Text Ref:  Hickman, Ed. 1239; Munz, Flora So. Calif. 950; Robbins et al. 58; Roberts 45.

Photo Ref:  Jun-Aug 90 # 23. (Photographed dried specimen collected in May 1990); May-July 95 # 8A, 10A.

Identity: by John Johnson.

First Found:  May 1990.


Computer Ref:  Plant Data 395.

Have plant specimen.

Last edit 5/29/06.


                        May Photo                                                                             May Photo