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This grass is native to Eurasia but is well known in many other parts of the world where it has been introduced. It is a noxious weed throughout much of North America. This is an annual grass reaching maximum heights of one half to one meter. The small leaves are thinly covered in soft hairs. The spreading inflorescence may reach nearly 20 centimeters long and nods when it becomes heavy with grain. The fruits are hard, rounded glumes that look superficially similar to the rye grain, which gives the brome its common name.
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