Bromus inermis 'Skinner's Gold'

Common Name: smooth brome 
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to frost
Bloom Description: Greenish with bronze to purple tints
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Black Walnut


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Best with medium moisture, but has good drought tolerance. Cut foliage back to the ground in late winter just before new shoots appear.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Bromus inermis is a clump-forming, cool season, ornamental grass that typically grows to 2’ tall and spreads by creeping rhizomes. Leaf blades are typically 6-12” long. Flower stalks appear yellow, giving the plant an overall appearance of being yellow when in bloom. Flowers appear in July. Inflorescenses are open panicles (4-8” long) with whorled branching and oat-like pale green spikelets tinged with bronze and purple. Inflorescences turn golden brown in fall and are excellent additions to dried flower arrangements. The species is a coarse, rhizomatous, weedy grass that has very little ornamental interest for gardeners. Although native to Europe and Asia, the species has been cultivated in many areas of the United States as a forage and pasture grass and has been planted on banks for erosion control, particularly in the western states. It has naturalized along roadsides, in waste areas and in fields throughout much of the United States, and is commonly found in Missouri except in the Ozark region (Steyermark).

Genus name comes from the Greek word bromos meaning oats.

Specific epithet means unarmed or without prickles.

‘Skinner’s Gold’ is a variegated-leaved cultivar.


No serious insect or disease problems. Can spread somewhat aggressively in some climates such as the Pacific Northwest, but is generally restrained in the St. Louis area.


Accent, group or mass. Compact ornamental grass for borders. Ground cover. Also effective massed on banks or slopes for erosion control.