Soft brome

Soft Brome

©Philip Precey

Soft brome

Scientific name: Bromus hordeaceus
Soft brome is a tall, annual grass of roadside verges, waste ground and meadows, and is a 'weed' of arable land. It has long, grey-green leaves and loosely clustered flower spikes.

Species information


Height: up to 1m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


The most common form of brome found in the UK, Soft Brome is an annual grass of roadside verges, waste ground, meadows and cultivated ground; it is considered a weed in cereal crops and on arable land. It flowers and seeds from May to August and can grow very quickly.

How to identify

Soft brome is quite variable in form, but usually appears as a tallish grass with grey-green leaves and loosely clustered flower heads. The spikelets are compact and oval, with spiky bristles at their tips.



Did you know?

Soft brome is also known as 'Bull grass' and 'Soft chess' in North America.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try leaving wilder areas in your garden, such as patches of buttercups in your lawn or nettles near your compost heap, to see who comes to visit? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.