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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

18 October, 2015

Barren Brome: sterile oats

The classic and rather lovely falling tassels of oat-like flowers makes barren brome (Anisantha sterilis) one of the more distinctive grasses of our hedgerows and roadsides.  It is quite common and readily occurs in suitable habitat flowering from May until July. The leaves are long and narrow, are a bluish/green colour and hairy whereas the main stem of the plant is smooth.
As well as being called barren brome it is also known as sterile brome (the Latin name is sterilis) and poverty brome but I am at a loss as to why it bears these names because the plant is self-pollinating and produces ripe seeds. If it is barren or sterile that would imply that it would not have ripe seeds would it not? Anyone who can shed light on this please let me know.
Growing between sea level and 365 meters it can be an invasive species in the wrong place and in some quarters it is deemed an obnoxious weed 

Read more: Barren Brome: sterile oats