Bromus tectorum

Bromus tectorum_cheatgrass_JoeDiTomaso_cropped
Photo: Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: cheatgrass; downy brome

Bromus tectorum (downy brome, cheatgrass) is an annual grass (family Poaceae). It is the dominant grass on sagebrush (Artemisia species) rangelands on the Modoc Plateau in northeastern California and along the eastern Sierra Nevada to Owens Valley. This weed overcrowds native grasslands and croplands. Replacement of native grasses by cheatgrass increases the frequency and extent of wildfires.

Cal-IPC Rating: High?

CDFA Rating: C?


Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Species ID Card

Invasive Species ID Card - To support field identification of early detection species, Cal-IPC has designed a set of Species ID cards that can be downloaded, printed double-sided, and trimmed to size.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Bromus tectorum Information

  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) inflorescence. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff
    Bromus tectorum_leaf blade, sheath, and stem_JoeDiTomaso
    Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) leaf blade, sheath, and stem. Photo: Joe DiTomaso
    Bromus tectorum_growth habit_JoeDiTomaso
    Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) growth habit. Photo: Joe DiTomaso