Crimson fountaingrass
Field sandbur
Giant reed
Japanese brome
Jointed goatgrass
Lehmann lovegrass
Mediterranean grass
Red brome
Ripgut brome
Southern sandbur
Tall fescue
Uruguayan pomps grass
Weeping lovegrass
Wild oat


Bromus catharticus Vahl (Grass family, Poaceae)


Rescuegrass is a loosely cespitose or tufted cool-season annual, biennial, or perennial bunchgrass. In areas that have hot, dry summers and severe winter temperatures, it grows as an annual. It does not have creeping stolons or rhizomes; however, it has an extensive fibrous root system and tillers profusely.

Plants: Culms 19-1/2 to 47 inches tall, stout, solitary, erect, or geniculately ascending; leaf sheaths glabrous or densely pubescent; auricle absent; ligules less than 1/8 inch long, glabrous or pilose, obtuse, lacerate to erose; blades up to 1-1/2 to 12 inches long and 1/8 to 3/8 inch wide, flat, glabrous, or hairy on both surfaces.

Inflorescence/Spikelet/Floret: Flowers March to June; panicles 3-1/2 to 11 inches long, usually open, erect, or nodding; lower branches shorter than 4 inches, 1 to 4 per node, spreading or ascending, with up to 5 spikelets variously distributed; spikelets 5/8 to 1-1/2 inches long, shorter than at least some panicle branches, elliptic to lanceolate, strongly laterally compressed, not crowded or overlapping, with 4 to 12 florets; glumes smooth or scabrous, glabrous or pubescent, lower 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, 5 to 9 nerves, upper 5/16 to 5/8 inch long, 7 to 11 nerves, shorter than the lowest lemma; lemmas 7/16 to 3/4 inch long, lanceolate, laterally compressed, strongly keeled, usually glabrous, sometimes pubescent, smooth or scabrous, 9 to 13 nerves, nerves often raised and riblike, margins sometimes conspicuous, hyaline, whitish or partly purplish, apices entire or toothed, teeth acute, shorter than 1/16 inch; awns absent or to 3/8 inch.


Cultivated and disturbed or degraded sites in desert and semidesert grassland communities, and roadsides within elevations that generally range below 4,500 feet.


Reproduces by seed.


Native to South America; rescuegrass has been widely introduced into the southern half of the U.S. as a forage crop. Rescuegrass is able to survive in a variety of different habitats and can tolerate cold temperatures and drought conditions. These characteristics make it difficult to manage. Rescuegrass has excellent forage quality. This species generally occurs as a weed in wildland areas of the Southwestern Region rather than as an invasive plant.

collage of 4 images

Forest Service Shield
Invasive plants and weeds of the national forests and grasslands in the southwestern region
Ariabiangrass inflorescence Arabiangrass spikelet Arabiangrass plants Rescuegrass spikelets Rescuegrass leaf collar region Rescuegrass plants Rescuegrass inflorescence