Bromus madritensis L. Madrid Brome
Cent.Pl. 1:5 (1755)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Current

Brief Description
Grazyna Paczkowska, Sunday 31 October 1993

Tufted annual, grass-like or herb, 0.1-0.4 m high. Fl. purple, Sep to Nov. Sand, brown loam.


Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Esperance Plains, Geraldton Sandplains, Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain.

IBRA Subregions: Avon Wheatbelt P1, Avon Wheatbelt P2, Geraldton Hills, Lesueur Sandplain, Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Recherche, Southern Jarrah Forest.

IMCRA Regions: Leeuwin-Naturaliste, WA South Coast.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Albany, Boyup Brook, Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Busselton, Chapman Valley, Cockburn, Dandaragan, Donnybrook-Balingup, Esperance, Greater Geraldton, Harvey, Manjimup, Merredin, Morawa, Mukinbudin, Narrogin, Northampton, Perth, Plantagenet, Quairading, Rockingham, South Perth, Swan, Waroona, Woodanilling.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Thursday 11 April 2019

Alternative Names. Red brome.

General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Annual, caespitose. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Generally only locally dispersed, but may also possibly be spread water, animals. Photosynthetic Pathway. C3. Seedbank persistence. Short, usually less than one year. Fire response. Known to increase in abundance post-fire due to mass seed germination and reduced competition.

Notes. Adapted to, and competitive in disturbed areas. It is not considered problematic in undisturbed sites. It will only invade areas of bare soil and sufficient available light. Has a shallow root system. May increase fire frequency and cause declines in native plant diversity. Lacks shade tolerance and is susceptible to frost. Produces prolific seed. Does not maintain a soil seed bank, but has early and uniform germination. The stiff sharp florets pose a threat to livestock and native fauna. Difficult to control with strategic burning as seedheads begin to shatter and seeds fall to the soil surface before enough fuel is available.

Additional information. Origin. Mediterranean. History of use/introduction. Animal fodder. Similar exotic species. Bromus rubens. Similar native species. B. arenarius.

Suggested method of management and control. Prevent seed set. Hand pull plants or in degraded areas use 1% glyphosate on seedlings, young plants or when flowering. Alternatively spray plants at 3-5 leaf stage with Fusilade® Forte at 16 ml/10 L or 800 ml/ha (based on 500 L water/ha) + wetting agent or for generic fluazifop-p (212g/L active ingredient) 10ml/10L or 500ml/ha + wetting agent. An early and late application may be required where two Bromus species are present. Short-term viability of the seedbank and low survivability in crowded sites make eradication feasible. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Active Growth           Y Y Y Y Y Y    
Germination         Y Y O O          
Flowering               Y Y Y Y    
Fruiting                   Y Y Y  
Optimum Treatment             Y Y Y Y      

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • DiTomaso, J.M., Brooks, M.L., Allen, E.B., Minnich, R., Rice, P.M. and Kyser, G.B. (2006) Control of invasive weeds with prescribed burning. Weed Technology, 20 (2): 535-548.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Moore, J.H. & Wheeler, J. (2008) Southern weeds and their control. DAFWA Bulletin 4744.
  • Salo, L.F. (2004) Population dynamics of red brome (Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens): times for concern, opportunities for management. Journal of Arid Environments, 57 (3): 291-296.
  • The Nature Conservancy, Wildland Invasive Species Team (Undated) Red Brome (Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens). Mojave WMA URL: - Accessed December 2009.
  • Yoder, C.K. & Nowak, R.S. (2004) Phosphorus acquisition by Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens from soil interspaces shared with Mojave Desert shrubs. Functional Ecology, 14 (6): 685 - 692.

Project information and acknowledgements