BugwoodWiki Article

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum L.

Overview

Appearance
Bromus tectorum is an erect-stemmed annual grass that grows to about 8-25 in. (20-70 cm) in height.
Foliage
The leaf sheaths and blades are covered with soft short hairs. The leaves are 0.08-0.16 in. (2-4 mm) wide and up to 8 in. (20 cm) long. Its ligules are 0.04-0.1 in. (1-2.5 mm) long.
Flowers
The panicles measure 2-7.75 in. (5-20 cm) long, have numerous branches, retain an open quality and are generally nodding. The panicles bear from 3 to 8 drooping spikelets, each spikelet is 0.8-1.4 in. (2-3.5 cm) long. The glumes are awl-shaped. The lemmas are narrowly lanceolate, 0.04-0.06 in. (1-1.5 mm) wide, toothed, and sometimes hairy. They have slender, straight awns that are 0.4-0.67 in. (10-17 mm) long. Flowering occurs from May to June.
Fruit
The seeds can germinate in the fall or in the spring; fall germination is generally more common. B. tectorum has a fibrous root system is finely divided. When a seed germinates in the fall, the developing root system is able to expand over the winter, giving the plant an increased ability to exploit available water and nutrients in the spring.
Ecological Threat
Bromus tectorum has the ability to draw down soil moisture and nutrients to very low levels, making it difficult for other species to compete. An increased cycle of fires favors annual species at the expense of many perennials. Due to its tendency to mature early and then dry out, it gains a competitive advantage through the promotion of fire. It is an agricultural, nursery and orchard pest.

Resources

Selected Images


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1459086

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Fruit(s)
Steve Dewey
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1459087

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Plant(s)
Steve Dewey
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2149072

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Plant(s)
Chris Evans
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1196024

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Feature(s)
Fred Fishel
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1459085

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Feature(s)
Steve Dewey
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2149079

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Infestation
Chris Evans
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5162055

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Plant(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
5270025
5270025

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Infestation
Leslie J. Mehrhoff
5270027
5270027

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Flower(s)
Leslie J. Mehrhoff
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5270026

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Infestation
Leslie J. Mehrhoff
5270028
5270028

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Root(s)
Leslie J. Mehrhoff
1383021
1383021

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Infestation
Tom Heutte
1624007
1624007

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Infestation
John M. Randall
5306083
5306083

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Fruit(s)
Steve Hurst
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5341060

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Infestation
John M. Randall
5306082
5306082

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Plant(s)
USDA PLANTS Database
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5306081

cheatgrass
Bromus tectorum
Plant(s)
USDA PLANTS Database

Maps


EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

State Regulated List

Most Troublesome / Most Common Agricultural Weed List
This map identifies those states that consider this species either most troublesome or most common in at least one commodity. For more information, visit the MTMC project page.

State Regulated List
Legend
   No Data for this state
   Troublesome or Common weed in one or more crops

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Bromus

Other System Links

Plants: BRTE
Bayer: BROTE
GRIN: 7880
ITIS: 40524
NPDN Pest: PCAATBM
NPDN Host: 28113

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
downy brome, early chess, military grass, thatch bromegrass

Related Scientific Names:

Anisantha tectorum L.(Synonym)
Bromus tectorum var. glabratus Spenn.(Synonym)

Categories

Category: Grass or Grasslike