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Report an Invasive Species

Cheatgrass or Downy brome

Cheatgrass or Downy brome

Cheatgrass or Downy brome

(Bromus tectorum)

Priority: -  Control

Tags: Agricultural | Terrestrial

Identification and Reproduction


  • Cheatgrass is an annual or winter annual grass (Poaceae family).
  • It has green stems with feathery, spiky flower heads. When mature it will grow to 75 centimetres.


  • It reproduces only by seeds, which can be moved by wind, animals, or people. 

Habitat & Ecology

  • Cheatgrass grows easily on disturbed sites and will commonly invade burned rangeland, heavily grazed grasses, and other open areas.
  • If germination occurs in the fall, this gives cheatgrass a competitive advantage over native vegetation.
  • It is commonly found in southern B.C., in grasslands, dry forests, or winter cover crops.


  • Cheatgrass displaces native vegetation and reduces biodiversity.
  • When dry, the seed heads can damage animals that graze on the grass or pets that may pick up seed heads while roving in grasslands.


  • Cheatgrass should be prevented by regular monitoring of disturbed or grassy areas.
  • It can also be prevent through land management, for example by maintaining a diversity of vegetation.