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False brome Working Group

A partnership of:

  • USDA Forest Service
  • USDI Bureau of Land Management
  • Oregon Department of Agriculture
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • OSU College of Forestry
  • Institute for Applied Ecology
  • Starker Forests Inc.
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Native Plant Society of Oregon

The false brome working group is dedicated to education and outreach, developing control measures, and identifying research needs for false brome in North America. We are made up of representatives from various federal and state agencies, as well as private and non-profit groups. Our overall goal is the containment and eventual elimination of this pest plant.


What is false brome?

False brome (also known as slender false brome,

Brachypodium sylvaticum habit_thumb.jpg
Brachypodium sylvaticum) is a non-native grass species invading habitats in western Oregon and California. It is listed as a noxious weed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Download a 2-page information sheet on false brome identification, threats, and control.

In January of 2004 a summary report of all the known Oregon based research being conducted on false brome was created. Download this PDF to learn about prevention and control, as well as sample contract language, management plans and much more!

The following links also provide information on false brome biology, control, and spread:

How to report an infestation:

Use this downloadable form to report false brome infestations in North America: 

  • send to: Cindy McCain, Siuslaw National Forest, PO Box 1148, Corvallis OR 97339 or email

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False brome is currently concentrated on the west-side of the Oregon Cascades. It is found in forests and foothhills near Corvallis and Eugene, as well as the Cascade Ranges east and northeast of Eugene. Isolated populations have appeared in northern and southern Oregon, along the Pacific Coast, and at the headwaters of the Metolious River on the east-side of the Cascades. The plant appears to be expanding rapidly.

False brome has also been identified in Virginia (200?) and Bergen Swamp, Genesee County, New York (2009).

BRSY distrib statewide28jan07.jpg

Click on map at left for a larger version. Map produced and provided by Noel Bacheller and the Willamette National Forest.




Predicted distribution:

A preliminary habitat model map (guestimate) to show where there is high and low vulnerability for false-brome to establish and where it is uncertain due to lack of data was recently developed by Cindy McCain, Noel Bacheller, and Aimee Lesieutre (Siuslaw National Forest) and others. The model is largely based on potential natural vegetation, temperature and precipitation, as well as some expert opinion.
Click here for map of predicted distribution based on habitat model.


False-brome in Oregon

Click here to download information on false brome in the OSU Research Forest-Blodgett Tract. This was prepared for an April 2004 field trip.

False-brome in Washington

The first siting of false brome in Washington was on the Hamilton Mountain Trail near Beacon Rock in Washington in July 2007. The plans are to remove this patch.

False brome in California

An outbreak of false brome was first documented in the Santa Cruz mountains of California in December of 2003.  Click here to read more about false brome in California.

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Recreation and false-brome

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Controlling false-brome

Efficacy of false brome treatments: Click this link to open a table describing the efficacy of a number treatments, including physical, chemical, biological control, and integrated pest management.

The following are some cautions from Glenn Miller with the Oregon Department of Agriculture about some specific herbicide formulations:

  • Habitat (brand name): Ineffective at controlling false brome.
  •  Aquamaster/Rodeo: 12 to 24 hours of drying time required in order for herbicide to be effective. Other formulations of Roundup with different surfactants do not appear to have the same drying issue as Rodeo.

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Report this disease!
Epichloe sm.jpg

False brome is susceptible to a fungal pathogen that can cause a disease called "choke" because it rings the stem of the grass with a white spore-producing collar (called a stroma) and restricts development of seeds at the top of the stem. This disease is currently unknown on false brome in North America, but could play an important role in the spread of the grass if it were here. If you find evidence of this whatsthisdisease, please report it to Cindy McCain (see contact information above).  (Photo by Bitty Roy)

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Other useful links and downloads

False brome Working Group meeting notes:

November, 2002 (first full meeting)
January, 2003
April, 2005
October, 2005
April, 2006
October, 2006
April, 2007
March , 2009

False brome Working Group Newsletter:

Jan. 2004 Newsletter

Herbicide study :
Clark, D. L., M. Blakeley-Smith, P. Hammond, D. Johnson, T. Kaye, B. Kelpsas, F. Pfund, M. Vomocil, and M. Wilson. 2004. Control of Brachypodium sylvaticum and restoration of rare native upland prairie habitat at Butterfly Meadows, Benton County. Final report to the Oregon Department of Agriculture. 

Grazing study PowerPoint presentation:
Scholz, R. 2004. Training Lambs to be Weed-eaters: Experiments on the efficiency of Ovis airies for use in the biological control of Brachypodium sylvaticum- a non-native bunchgrass.

Regional population genetics:

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"Volunteers are the backbone, heart, and soul of the restoration movement. And whatever the eventual results of their labors may be, working to revive damaged ecosystems is transforming and strengthening their relationship with the rest of nature."

-William K. Stevens, Miracle Under the Oaks

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