Bromus tectorum (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Bromus danthoniae
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Bromus tectorum (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Eremopyrum orientale
Bromus tectorum
Bromus tectorum


Bromus tectorum L.

Local name:

  • Russian: Костер кровельный, конгурбаш, токарбоз - koster krovel'nyj, kongurbaš, tokarboz
  • Uzbek, Kazakh: Kongurbash, Tokarboz, El’verbash
  • Turkmen: Yapelek

Chromosome number: 2n = 14 (Avdulov 1928; Walters 1963; Fedorov 1969).

Description and morphology: Annual ephemeral grass (height 15–40 cm) branching from base stems. Leaves: blades linear, acuminate (2–5 cm wide), glabrous. Flowers: bisexual; without perianth, in compound looseopen pendulous panicles (6–15 cm long). Spikelets few flowers (2–5 florets); 3 stamens with long anthers and a short terminal style. Ovary superior with one anatropous, bitegmic, crassi-nucellate ovule. Glume extended into long rigid awn.

Reproduction: Sexual. A typical crossanemophilous or sometimes self-pollinated plant. Flowering: April–May. Fruit maturation: end of May. Fruit: indehiscent dry, monospermous, kernel. Fruiting body with sclerified pericarp closely accreted to seed. Seed: small embryo and well developed endosperm. Embryo erect, highly differentiated, leucophyte. Dormancy B1 type. Germination: 45–68%. Viable seeds: 52–81%. Seed viability 1.5– 2 years. Light-sensitive. Germination increases considerably after long-term stratification (2–4 °C) for 1–2.5 months and then 15–28 °C (night/day) cycle.

Pastoral importance: Medium to poor. Readily consumed by all domestic animals (especially horses) and wild herbivores when green and before flowering in spring. Hardly touched when inflorescence matures. Flower heads and spikes from rigid awned inflorescence cause injuries (to mouth, eyes, legs, etc.) to livestock. In late winter, considered an additional food for sheep. Expected yield in the chol and adyr is about 0.3–0.7 t DM/ha. Small ruminants consume dry parts of Bromus mixed with other dry ephemerals swept away by wind (‘хас’) in late autumn and winter, or when mechanically chopped. Considered a real competitive weed problem for cereal growers as Bromus seeds need to be either deep-ploughed or treated with expensive herbicides to be eliminated.

Fodder value: Good. At budding contains (% DM): crude protein 10; fat 5.7; cellulose 32; ash 8.4; nitrogen-free extract 30–41. Gives a high quality forage rich in vitamin C (442 mg/kg DM). Before flowering value estimated to be about 92 FU and 5.4 kg digestible protein/100 kg DM.

Habitat: Meso-xerophyte. Common near housing and farms, spreading rapidly on to overgrazed rangeland or poorly managed cereal fields. Widely distributed on desert and semi-desert pastures. Also sometimes present on slightly saline pasture; rare on clay and gravelly soils in Central Asia.

Distribution: Widely distributed weed in Mediterranean regions of the world.