Bromus tectorum L. (ITIS)
Downy brome, bronco grass, downy chess, drooping brome, June grass, early chess, military chess, cheatgrass
Eurasia (Bartlett et al. 2002)
1800s (Bartlett et al. 2002)
Introduced accidentally as a seed contaminant (Bartlett et al. 2002)
United States Department of Agriculture.
Cattle grazing on a nearly half mile wide targeted strip of cheatgrass near Beowawe, Nevada, created a firebreak that helped limit a rangeland fire to just 54 acres this past August compared to rangeland fires that more commonly race across thousands of acres of the Great Basin. This "targeted grazing" firebreak and eight others are part of an evaluation project being managed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), partnering with other federal, state and local agencies and local cattle ranchers in Idaho, Nevada and Oregon. These demonstration sites are being studied so the concept's efficacy and environmental impacts can be uniformly evaluated and compared.
Cheatgrass, also known as downy brome, is an invasive annual that dominates more than 100 million acres of the Great Basin in the western U.S. Germinating each winter, cheatgrass grows furiously in spring and dies in early summer, leaving the range carpeted in golden dry tinder. The Great Basin now has the nation's highest wildfire risk, and rangeland fires are outpacing forest fires when it comes to acreage destroyed.
USDA. ARS. Tellus.
ARS scientists in Nevada, studied ways to control cheatgrass and restore rangelands to a healthy mix of plants, which in turn reduces wildfire threats, supports wildlife, and increases sustainable grazing resources.
Distribution / Maps / Survey Status
The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Downy Brome.
Council or Task Force
California Invasive Plant Council.
DOI. USGS. Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center.
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.
State and Local Government
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
See also: Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for plant species (trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and aquatic plants) that have impacted the state's natural lands
Colorado Department of Agriculture. Conservation Services Division. Noxious Weed Program.
Montana State University Extension.
University of Nevada - Reno. Cooperative Extension.
Utah State University. Extension.
Bartlett, E., S.J. Novak, and R.N. Mack. 2002. Genetic variation in Bromus tectorum (Poaceae): differentiation in the eastern United States. American Journal of Botany 89(4):602-612.
Colorado State Parks. 2005. Downy Brome (Cheatgrass) - Best Management Practices - Weed Profile (PDF | 214 KB).
Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Bromus tectorum. [Accessed Mar 16, 2015].
Mosely, J.C., S.C. Bunting, and M.E. Monoukian. 1999. Cheatgrass. In: R.L. Sheley and J.K. Petrof (Eds.), Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press.