Bromus kalmii Gray

Wild Chess

Habitat: Dry or moist open soil or thickets, often calcareous.

Range: Quebec and Maine south to Virginia and Florida, west to South Dakota and Manitoba.

Aids to Identification: Members of the genus Bromus are recognized by spikelets with multiple florets, unequal glumes that are shorter than the spikelet, lemmas with long awns, and often open, drooping panicles. Bromus kalmii is a perennial with keeled glumes. The lower glume has 3 nerves. The back of the lemmas have a covering of hairs. The leaf blades and leaf sheaths may also be pubescent.

Ecological characteristics: Historic locations of this plant have been found in sandy areas.

Phenology: Fruiting late June through August

Family: Poaceae

Synonyms: Bromopsis kalmii (Gray) Holub; Bromus purgens L.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 4 towns in the following counties: Cumberland, Oxford, York.

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of range.

Conservation considerations: There is a single extant occurrence, near a trail, but it appears not to be threatened by hiker activity.