Downy Brome (Cheatgrass)

    Bromus tectorum


    Cheatgrass growth habit (Chris Evans, University of Illinois,


    Cheatgrass growth habit (Tom Heutte, USDA Forest Service,


    Cheatgrass seeds (K. George and James Sebastian, Colorado State University,



    • grass with upright growth (up to 2 feet tall) and flat blades that are hairy on both sides; ligules are membranous and ragged
    • bristle-like flower/seed heads with soft, feathery appearance
    • foliage changes color from green to purple to light brown as plant matures and available moisture declines in summer months


    • planting beds and other under-maintained areas including lawn areas

    Life Cycle

    • winter or summer annual; seedlings germinate in autumn or early spring
    • rapid growth with seed production by late spring

    IPM Recommendations

    • Hand-pull plants in planting beds prior to seed maturation.
    • Apply a mulch layer 3 inches deep on planting beds to reduce seed germination.
    • Apply an appropriate post-emergent herbicide directly to target weeds.