Brachypodium sylvaticum
Common Name: slender false brome 
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Native Range: Europe, temperate Asia, northern Africa
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to October
Bloom Description: Yellowish-green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Insignificant


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Likes shady areas. Avoid wet soils. Known to be invasive outside of its native range and will aggressively colonize a wide variety of habitats including forest understories, open grasslands, stream banks and lake margins by out-competing native plants. Spreads by self-seeding.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Brachypodium sylvaticum, commonly called slender false brome, is a tufted perennial bunchgrass that typically grows to 3’ tall. It is native to woodlands and open grasslands of Europe, western Asia and northern Africa. It is considered invasive in parts of the United States (particularly the Pacific Northwest), Argentina, Australia and New Zealand where it displaces native vegetation, forms monocultures, reduces tree seedling recruitment, and alters fire regimes. This grass was first discovered growing in the United States in 1939 west of the Cascades in an area of the Willamette Valley near Eugene, Oregon (possibly escaped from USDA experimental gardens in the area). It has now naturalized throughout much of the Willamette Valley and western Oregon with heavy concentrations in the forests and foothills near Eugene and Corvallis. Additional plants have been discovered in northern California and southern Washington state. This plant has also been found parts of the eastern United States including New York and Virginia.

Slender false brome grass features (1) branchless hollow culms (flower stalks) rising to 3’ tall, (2) dense tufts of arching, hairy, linear-lanceolate, yellow-green to green leaves to 12” long by 1/2” wide, (3) culm-topping, noticeably drooping flower spikes, each of which contains 4-12 spikelets (flower clusters) on very short 1/2” pedicels, and (4) a lengthy July-October bloom.

Genus name comes from the Greek words brachys meaning short and podion meaning a foot in reference to the short pedicels of the flower spikelets.

Specific epithet comes from the Latin word sylvaticus meaning in woods and forests in reference to native habitat.

Common name suggests the possibility of misidentifying slender false brome as a brome (genus Bromus) which it is not.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Given the aggressive and invasive nature of this plant, it is best not planted outside of its native range. Within its native range, it can be used as a low maintenance, grassy ground cover.