Bromopsis benekenii

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPoaceaeBromopsisBromopsis benekenii


A tufted perennial herb of lightly shaded places in woodland, especially beech woods; also found in scrub and hedgerows. It grows mainly in humus-rich but shallow calcareous soils, often on a slight slope. Lowland.



World Distribution

European Temperate element, with a continental distribution in W. Europe; also in C. Asia.

Broad Habitats

Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland

Light (Ellenberg): 5

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.3

Annual Precipitation (mm): 896

Life form information

Height (cm): 105

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Tussock-forming graminoid, may slowly spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 64

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: 0.25

Distribution information

JNCC Designations


Scarce Atlas Account

Scarce Atlas Account: 

Bromopsis benekenii (Lange) Holub

Lesser hairy-brome

Status: scarce

This grass is apparently largely confined to woods on shallow chalk, limestone or other calcareous soils in steep valleys. It is frequently recorded in beech woods but also occurs in other deciduous woods, and woodland margins and scrub. It grows in small to medium-sized patches among the species-rich ground layer on moderate humus in light shade and grows best on a slight slope.

B. benekenii is a perennial species which grows in small tufts. Little is known of its reproductive biology.

This is a little known and probably under-recorded species. It is treated by some authorities as B. ramosa subsp. benekenii (Lange). Tzvelev, and several competent recorders have found it difficult to distinguish from B. ramosa, with which it sometimes grows. B. benekenii may therefore still be present in the areas for which only pre-1970 records are available.

It is found in central and eastern Europe and at scattered localities eastwards to the Yangtze River in China.


A. L. Newton

PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (385a)
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Stewart A, Pearman DA, Preston CD
1994.  Scarce plants in Britain.