Fringe Bromegrass

Percy Folkard, BC FLNR
Scientific name: 

Bromus ciliatus L.

Native Grass
Annual precip. min (mm): 
Seed size: 
Seeds per kg: 
PR Suitability note: 
Fringed bromegrass is found in native plant communities in the Peace Region.
Key considerations: 
Well suited to site rehabilitation applications. Of 11 native grasses tested for germination and survival in crude oil contaminated soil, only fringed bromegrass survived (Robson et al. 2003, see Huff).
General Description: 

Fringed bromegrass is a tall, loosely tufted, cool season, perennial native bunchgrass. It is effective for erosion control and valued in revegetation mixes for disturbed sites. This species is also very palatable for both ungulate wildlife and livestock throughout the growing season.

Fringed bromegrass is a bunchgrass with fibrous roots.

Stems grow to 60 to 100 cm (24 to 39 in.) tall, frequently with hairy nodes. Leaves are dark green, 10 cm (4 in.) wide and hairy at least on one side. The veining is prominent on both sides of the leaf. No auricles. 

Seed heads form in open panicles that are 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 in.) long with 4 to 10 flowers and long spikelets. Seeds are large and fuzzy when mature in mid-August.

Native to both Canada and United States.
Distributed widely from Alaska and Yukon to Texas and Arizona, and from California to Newfoundland. Frequent in British Columbia and east of the Coast-Cascade mountains.
Habitat and climate: 
Wet streambanks and lake margins, open coniferous or deciduous woodlands and meadows, especially mesic or moist areas in the montane zone.
Used for reclamation and erosion control. Also excellent forage for both ungulate wildlife and livestock and holds its nutritional value throughout the growing season, so can be used to extend the grazing period.
Optimal time of grazing use: 
Can be grazed throughout the season as it holds it palatability well.
Recovery after use (rating): 
Recovery after use: 
Considered a decreaser after grazing.
Forage yield (rating): 
Palatability/Nutritional Value: 
Excellent palatability for both ungulate wildlife and livestock from emergence through seed set. Plant protein levels average 20% in early June, 9% in July, and 3% in late August to October. In contrast, digestible carbohydrate increases over the growing season. Cattle will strip the leaves off the stems and sheep will seek out and graze the seed heads.
Longevity (rating): 
Stand life is typically 4 years for seed production, but probably longer in forage and reclamation situations.
Persistence (rating): 
Long term revegetation potential is considered high.
Competitiveness (rating): 
Weed resistance (rating): 
Erosion control (rating): 
Erosion control: 
Favoured in revegetation mixes for disturbed sites, especially in foothill and boreal forests. Very effective for erosion control.
Drought tolerance (rating): 
Winter hardiness (rating): 
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Salinity tolerance (rating): 
Acidity tolerance (rating): 
Acidity tolerance : 
Moderate tolerance for acidity (low pH) and but low tolerance for alkalinity (high pH).
Ease of establishment (rating): 
Ease of establishment: 
Easy to establish a good stand. 85% of seed germinates in 10 to 15 days.
Application requirements: 
Seed at 0.6 to 1.2 cm (1/4 to 3/4 in.) deep. Seeding rate should be about 100 to 130 seeds per linear metre of row. Fringed bromegrass is best seeded with a seed carrier, unless the seed cleaning and processing have removed hairs to improve seed flow.