cheatgrass

Cyperales > Poaceae > 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

  • Weeds of the Week - USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection

Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Feature(s); Ligule
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Ligule
Fred Fishel, University of Missouri, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Root(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); Inflorescence close-up
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Tom Heutte, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Native to the Mediterranean region, is one of the most widespread weeds in the American West.
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); habit
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Diagram or Graphic; Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 1: 274.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Diagram or Graphic; Hitchcock, A.S. (rev. A. Chase). 1950. Manual of the grasses of the United States. USDA Misc. Publ. No. 200. Washington, DC.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • California - Invasive Plant Inventory
  • Colorado - Noxious Weed Law
  • Connecticut - Noxious Weed Law
  • Georgia - EPPC list
  • Rhode Island - Noxious Weed Law
  • Tennessee - EPPC List
  • Texas - Invasive Plant List
  • Mid-Atlantic - EPPC List
  • Invasive Plants: Western North America
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species
  • Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest
  • Invasive Plant Atlas of New England


External Links


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