Plants of
South Australia
Bromus arenarius
Sand Brome
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2

Prior names

Serrafalcus arenarius


Bromus from the Greek 'bromos' a kind of oat. Arenarius from the Latin 'arena' meaning sandy place and '-aria' meaning pertaining to, alluding to it's sandy habitat.

Distribution and status

Found in scattered across the drier areas of South Australia except in the South-east, growing  on sandy soils and claypan soils. Also found in all states except in the Northern Territroy. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect or procumbent annual grass to 50 cm high with glabrous stems. Leaves with copious, soft, spreading hairs; ligule glabrous or with a few marginal hairs.  Inflorescence a loose pyramidal spike, drooping, to 15 cm long. Spikelets oblong-lanceolate, laterally compressed. Lower glume 3- or 4-nerved, to 8 mm, upper glume 5- or sub-7-nerved, to 12 mm; lemmas to 15 mm long, 7-nerved, with a straight or curved awn about as long. Flowering between July and October. Fruits are short spike. Seed embryo type is lateral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and December. Use hands to gently strip seeds off the mature seed spike that are turning straw colour. Mature seeds will come off easily. Alternatively, you can break off the whole seed spike. Place the seeds/spike in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. No further cleaning is required if only seed collected. If seed spikes collected, use hand to strip off the mature seeds. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.