cheatgrass USDA PLANTS Symbol: BRTE
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Grass or Grasslike
Bromus tectorum L.

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Taxonomic Rank: Liliopsida: Cyperales: Poaceae
Synonym(s): downy brome, early chess, military grass, thatch bromegrass
Native Range: Africa, temp. & trop. Asia, Europe (GRIN);

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

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Fruit(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Ligule
Fred Fishel, University of Missouri, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Ligule
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); habit
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); Inflorescence close-up
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Root(s);
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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Fruit(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); 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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Plant(s); 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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EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Badlands National Park (South Dakota)
Chiricahua National Monument (Arizona)
Craters of the Moon National Monument (Idaho)
Death Valley National Park (California)
Dinosaur National Monument (Colorado)
Fort Bowie National Historic Site (Arizona)
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Utah)
Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
Haleakala National Park (Hawaii)
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (West Virginia)
Rocky Mountains National Park (Colorado)
Scotts Bluff National Monument (Nebraska)
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (Californina)
Stones River National Battlefield (Tennessee)
Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
Yosemite National Park (California)



Invasive Listing Sources:
California Invasive Plant Council
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 1994.
Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group
Faith Campbell, 1998
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
Native Plant Society of Oregon, 2008
New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, 2004
Pacific Northwest Exotic Pest Plant Council, 1998
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council