Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Nottoway Valley Brome - Bromus nottowayanus   Fernald
Members of Bromus with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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AuthorFernald
DistributionMountains (with gaps) and upper Piedmont. In this case, the wide gaps in the mountains are probably not biologically real, as the habitats are not specialized, and the species is difficult to identify.

NY to MO, south to NC, northern AL, and OK. Distribution not well known, due to confusion with B. pubescens.
AbundanceRare to uncommon throughout, though presumably overlooked or misidentified as B. pubescens and/or B. latiglumis. This is a Watch List species, and the species seems to merit a State Rank of S2, instead of the very rare S1?.
HabitatFrom specimen labels: "mixed deciduous forest", "rocky wooded slope", "roadside near Dan River", "rich woods above Elk Creek". "Moist forests, especially along small stream bottoms" (Weakley 2018).
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-August.
IdentificationOur native brome grasses typically grow 3-4 feet tall and have inflorescences with arching branches and drooping spikes. Nottoway Valley Brome has 5-veined upper glumes (vs. 3-veined glumes in B. pubescens and B. ciliatus); and 2-9 stem nodes (vs. 9-20 nodes in B. latiglumis).
Taxonomic CommentsFor decades this grass went unrecognized and treated as part of B. pubescens. Farther back, the species -- and several others included on this website -- was included within B. purgans in RAB (1968).

Bromus is an important genus of grasses for their value as forage (many species) or for the harm they cause to the guts of grazing animals (a few species). In most of our species, inflorescences arch over and cause the spikelets to droop; thus the plants are often graceful looking. Bromus, Festuca, and Poa all can look quite similar to beginners (and even veterans!), because they all have multi-flowered spikelets. Generally speaking, Bromus taxa have much the largest spikelets, and most Poa taxa have a tuft of wispy hairs at the base of each floret (lacking in the other genera). Bromus and Festuca taxa have obvious awns on the florets that are absent in Poa taxa. With field experience and careful use of keys, one can eventually handle these genera.
Other Common Name(s)Satin Brome, Virginia Brome, Nottoway River Brome, Nottoway Brome
State RankS1? [S2]
Global RankG3G5
State StatusW7
US Status
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Wes Knapp5 Aug 2020, tributary of Johns River. BurkePhoto_natural
Wes Knapp5 Aug 2020, tributary of Johns River. BurkePhoto_natural
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