Native to Europe, and now widespread along the Pacific Coast states. It is a very common weed species in rangeland, roadsides, waste areas, or ditchbanks, where it may compete with native plants.
An annual grass, with seeds germinating from fall through the winter and into early spring, and the plants maturing in late spring.
The stiff, bristly awns of the seeds easily travel through animal fur, as well as into noses, eyes, and ears, and are a major summer problem for pets and grazing animals.
Mature plants grow to 3 feet tall, with few stems per plant and an open, waving appearance. Leaves have wide, flat blades with a covering of short, soft hairs. The sheath at the leaf base has a distinct ligule which is membranous and with a jagged fringe.
Flower heads are open, up to 8 inches long, and with a drooping pose as it matures. There are relatively few flower clusters, or spikelets, on each flower head, and the spikelet is composed of 5 to 8 flowers. These flowers may be up to 2 inches long, and contain a very stiff awn that also may be over 2 inches long, and is rough-textured.
Similar weed to California Brome, but spikelets of Ripgut brome tend to form along one side of the flower head.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Winter germination of seeds.