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Bromus hordeaceus is native to Eurasia, where it is most common in the Mediterranean region. It has naturalized in all other continents except Antarctica. Soft chess is most common in low-elevation valleys and foothills of California where the climate is Mediterranean; in fact, it is more abundant Mediterranean areas of California than in Europe.

While Soft chess is considered palatable and nutritious, it is not a preferred grass by most native ungulates or livestock. In California it is the most common dominant grass, having replaced perennial bunchgrasses in about 1860, chiefly through overgrazing regimes and its prolific seed production. In areas of grazing cessation, there is evidence that native grasses re-establish their abundance.

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Supplier: C. Michael Hogan

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