cheatgrass USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: BRTE
Bromus tectorum L.
Synonym(s): downy brome, early chess, military grass, thatch bromegrass

Cheatgrass is an annual grass that forms tufts up to 2 ft. (0.6 m) tall. The leaves and sheaths are covered in short, soft hairs. The flowers occur as drooping, open, terminal clusters that can have a greenish, red, or purple hue. Flowering occurs in the early summer. These annual plants will germinate in fall or spring (fall is more common), and senescence usually occurs in summer. Cheatgrass invades rangelands, pastures, prairies, and other open areas. Cheatgrass has the potential to completely alter the ecosystems it invades. It can completely replace native vegetation and change fire regimes. It occurs throughout the United States and Canada, but is most problematic in areas of the western United States with lower precipitation levels. Cheatgrass is native to Europe and parts of Africa and Asia. It was first introduced into the United States accidentally in the mid 1800s.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources