Downy Brome develops very quickly during the spring; it is one of the first grasses to bloom in the state. This characteristic is useful in the identification of this species. At this time of year, Downy Brome has a silky inflorescence that is rather attractive. There are many Bromus spp. (Brome Grasses) in Illinois, both native and non-native. The native species are often perennials that are found around woodlands, while the non-native species are usually weedy annuals that are found in sunny disturbed areas. In addition to its early maturity, Downy Brome can be distinguished from other Brome grasses by the long awns of its lemmas (about ½¾" in length), pubescent sheaths and leaves, and strongly drooping inflorescence. Other technical characteristics that are useful in its identification include the length of the lemmas, the pubescence of the lemmas, and the number of veins in the glumes and lemmas, as described above.