It is the most common species of Bromus in Britain, where it can be found on roadsides, waste ground, meadows, and cultivated land. It is found throughout Europe and western Asia, and was introduced into North and South America and Australia.
The plant is hairy all over. It can grow between 10 and 100 cm high, sometimes in tufts, sometimes singly. The culms have between 2 and 5 nodes. The leaves are grey-green. The ligules are 2.5 mm high and flat but toothed. The panicles are up to 16 cm long and grey-green to purple. The spikelets have awns. It flowers from May until July.
- Bromus hordeaceus ssp. ferronii – least soft brome
- Bromus hordeaceus ssp. hordeaceus
- Bromus hordeaceus ssp. molliformis
- Bromus hordeaceus ssp. pseudothominii
- Bromus hordeaceus ssp. thominei – lesser soft brome
- Hubbard, C. E. Grasses. Penguin Books. 1978.