Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #29 Barren Brome

Barren brome is a grass that you’re likely to find spiky bits of its flowers (close-up here) holding fast in your clothes – especially socks – after walking through its ripe flower-heads. It’s cunningly adapted to catching in animal fur which helps it disperse far and wide; when the animal grooms itself to get rid of them, the seeds eventually can germinate and grow many miles away from the parent plant.

Bromus sterilis in Bradlaugh Fields end May 2015

In terms of cows, horses or sheep, as the name ‘barren’ suggests, this is not a grass you want in your pasture as it contains a lot of silica, which is what sand is made of, making it extra tough, and any poor animal would choke on it!

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