Family: Poaceae or Gramineae or Graminaceae
Species: Bromus catharticus Vahl
Synonym: Bromus willdenowii Kunth.
Origin and diffusion
Cathartic Bromine originates from South America (Andean areas and Uruguay) is widespread in Argentina and today also in Australia and Europe.
Cathartic bromine - Bromus catharticus Vahl (photo twig.tamu.edu)
Cathartic bromine is a triennial species of high size (70-150 cm) and powerful root system from which erect stems, flattened at the base, rich in leaves provided with elongated ligules and without ears, originate. Pannicular inflorescences with rather large and flattened seeds (1000 seeds = 7 g). it is one of the few autogamy pollinated grasses.
Environmental needs and cultivation technique
Species suitable for mild climates, in Italy it has been highlighted for: high productivity (equal to that of Festuca arundinacea), alternativity, elasticity of use, earliness, good seasonal distribution of production with the possibility of also brings winter in Mediterranean areas, the easy settlement in any soil condition, the resistance to drought, the attitude to self-seeding that greatly prolongs the duration of the crop, the good quality and the excellent palatability of the forage. These qualities place it among the most interesting grasses for the medium fertility soils of the central-southern regions (and today also in the Padana Valley), both in pure cultivation for mowing (a little less for grazing given its sensitivity to trampling). ), both in association with alfalfa. Negative aspects include mediocre resistance to cold, large nitrogen requirements, poor adaptability to asphyxiated soils and sensitivity to coal (Ustilago bullata), which however can be overcome by adopting resistant varieties.
Variety and use
The main use is mowing, as it is not suitable for grazing because it is sensitive to foot traffic.
Few cultivars are available, coming from America, Australia, France and Hungary, and differentiated by longevity, cold and carbon resistance. In Italy, in addition to the national Cabro variety, the French cultivars Luprime and Meribel are available. Two species related to cathartic bromine are also evaluated: B. sitchensis Trin. (more resistant to cold), and B. carinatus Hook. and Arn. (later and more leafy).