Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Downy Broome, Cheat Grass
Bromus tectorum

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Bromus (BROH-mus) (Info)
Species: tectorum (tek-TOR-um) (Info)

Synonym:Anisantha tectorum
Synonym:Bromus tectorum var. glabratus
Synonym:Bromus tectorum var. hirsutus
Synonym:Bromus tectorum var. nudus

One member has or wants this plant for trade.

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us


No positives
1 neutral
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Joan On Apr 1, 2007, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

This plant is listed on the North Dakota invasive/troublesome list and this information is being distributed in a guide developed by the ND Weed Control Association and other agencies.

Plant Features
Winter annual, up to 2 feet tall
Seeds germinate in the fall or early spring
Leaves hairy, flat, sharply pointed, up to 1/4 inch wide and 5 inches long
Drooping seed head. Seed awns up to 1/2 inch long emerging at tip of glumes
Plant rusty red at maturity, roots fibrous

Widespread invasive that grows under most conditions
Spreads by seed through contaminated grass seed, hay, farm and construction equipment, and vehicles

Interesting Facts
Very flammable when dry
May hybridize with other annual bromes
Produces viable seed within 2months of beginning spring growth
Similar in appearance to Japanese brome. Japanese brome seed awns do not emerge at tip of glumes

Neutral frostweed On Dec 19, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Downy Broome, Cheat Grass Bromus tectorum is naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.

Negative smiln32 On Aug 30, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is considered a noxious weed in a number of states. This species was introduced from Europe, probably for forage. Bromus is a large genus of grasses of temperate regions of the world, many cultivated for hay or forage.

They are, at maturity, a serious pest because the pointed, barbed fruits can work into the eyes, nostrils and mouths of livestock, causing inflammation and often serious injury. Sometimes the intestines are pierced and death results.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Grand Junction, Colorado
Sarcoxie, Missouri
Beach, North Dakota
Belfield, North Dakota
Terrebonne, Oregon

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