Bromus interruptus

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Interrupted brome
Bromus interruptus flowering spike with
flowering in the background

Extinct in the Wild  (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Genus: Bromus
B. interruptus
Binomial name
Bromus interruptus

Bromus mollis var. interruptus Hack.

Bromus interruptus, commonly known as the interrupted brome,


The plant appeared to spread rapidly after its discovery in 1849, which is normally indicative of

seed cleaning methods.[3]


Bromus interruptus is an annual or biennial herb. Its slender to somewhat stout culms measure 20 to 100 cm and occur as either loosely tufted or solitary. They are erect, very lightly pubescent, unbranched and contain 2 to 4 nodes. The green leaves measure 6 to 20 cm long by 2 to 6 mm wide and are long-linear in shape with a pointed apex. They are covered in a soft pubescence. The leaf sheaths are tubular with the lower portion having a soft pubescence replaced by shorter hairs in the upper portion. The ligules measure 1 to 2 mm and are membranous and toothed.[4]


lemma once mature.[4]

The glumes, or sterile husks at the base of each spikelet, are unequal in morphology and persist after maturity. Both the upper and lower glumes may have apices ranging from blunt to abruptly pointed. The lower glume is 5 to 7 mm long with 3 to 7 veins and an oblong to elliptical outline. The upper one is slightly larger, measuring 6 to 9 mm long with 5 to 9 veins and an ovate to broadly elliptical shape.[4]



chromosome number is 2n = 28.[4]

Distribution and habitat

The interrupted brome is

the Netherlands, where it is now established.[3]

The plant was found primarily in waste places and as a weed in arable crops, particularly sainfoin (

Trifolium sp.).[3] It was also found on the sides of roads and tracks.[4]


Philip M. Smith (1941–2004), a botanist from the

Botanical Society of the British Isles conference he presented seeds to several of his colleagues. Through him the plants began to be cultivated at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and Edinburgh.[6]

Stewart Henchie, a botanist from

Chilterns. The plants successfully germinated, fruited and persisted. This marked the first extinct plant to be re-introduced into the wild in British history.[6]


  1. ^ "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Bromus interruptus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 10 January 2011.
  2. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ a b c UK Biodiversity Group Tranche 2 Action Plans, vol. 1: Vertebrates and vascular plants, 1998, p. 133, archived from the original on 2008-03-07, retrieved 2008-03-18
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Randall, David (24 July 2005), "Back from the dead: scientist revives lost plant of old England", The Independent on Sunday, archived from the original on 18 December 2013