WSU Extension


Annual bluegrass 
Bentgrass, creeping 
Bittercress (Shotweed, Hairy bittercress) 
Bittersweet nightshade (European bittersweet) 
Black medic 
Blackberry (Himalayan, Evergreen, Pacific) 
Blue mustard (Purple mustard, Tenella mustard) 
Brackenfern, western 
Bull thistle 
Buttercup, creeping 
Canada thistle 
Catchweed bedstraw (Cleavers) 
Catsear, common (False dandelion) 
Chickweed, common and mouseear 
Dock (Curly, Broadleaf) 
Downy brome (Cheatgrass, Downy chess) 
Dwarf mistletoes 
English daisy (Lawn daisy) 
English ivy 
Field bindweed (Wild morningglory) 
Field pennycress (Fanweed) 
Foxtail (Green, Yellow, Bristly) 
Garden loosestrife 
Giant hogweed 
Groundsel, common 
Hedge bindweed 
Herb Robert (Robert geranium, stinky Bob) 
Horsetails (Scouringrush) 
Horseweed (Marestail) 
Knotweeds (Bohemian, Giant, Japanese, Himalayan) 
Lambsquarters, common 
Mallow, common (Cheeseweed, Buttonweed) 
Oxalis (Creeping woodsorrel) 
Parrotfeather and Eurasian watermilfoil 
Plantain (Broadleaf, Buckhorn) 
Poison hemlock 
Poison ivy and Poison oak 
Prickly lettuce (China lettuce) 
Prostrate knotweed 
Puncturevine (Tackweed, Goathead) 
Purple deadnettle (Red deadnettle) 
Purple loosestrife (Purple lythrum) 
Purslane, common 
Red sorrel (Sheep sorrel) 
Redroot pigweed (Rough pigweed) 
Redstem filaree (Stork's bill, Crane's bill) 
Reed canarygrass 
Russian thistle (Tumbleweed) 
Ryegrass, annual (Italian ryegrass) 
Salsify (Goatsbeard) 
Scotch broom 
Sowthistle, annual and perennial 
Spurges (Prostrate spurges) 
St. Johnswort, common (Goatweed, Klamathweed) 
Stinging nettle 
Tansy ragwort 
Tumblemustard (Jim Hill mustard) 
Velvetgrass (Common velvetgrass) 
Water primrose 
Waterhemlock, western 
Yellow nutsedge 

print version| pdf version| email url    
Caption: Downy brome
Photo by: J.A. Kropf
Weeds : Downy brome (Cheatgrass, Downy chess) : Bromus tectorum
(revision date: 6/9/2014)

Family: Poaceae (Graminae)
Cycle: Winter annual
Plant Type: Grass

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful weed management.

Downy brome is a winter annual (sometimes a summer annual) reproducing by seed. Germination typically occurs during late summer or fall, with overwintering plants resuming growth in the spring. Plants can reach over two feet high in good growing conditions, but are typically shorter (four inches and up). Leaves are green (sometimes reddish) in color and are covered with soft hairs at all stages of maturity. Ligules, which are found around the stem at the junction of the leaf blade and leaf sheath, are membranous and medium-tall with jagged edges. Sheaths are hairy with prominent veins, and auricles are absent. The flowering stems are slender and drooping, with seeds typically arranged along one side. Seedheads are frequently purplish and may reach an overall length of six inches. SPECIAL INFORMATION: Downy brome plants become dry after producing seed and dense stands can become a serious fire hazard. Dry seeds can be a nuisance to humans and animals due to their habit of working into clothing, fur, and soft tissues of the mouth. Dogs in particular may suffer from seeds working into ears and between toes.
Downy brome is a common weed of waste areas, roadsides, pastures, rangeland, and cultivated areas, especially in dry areas of Eastern Washington.

Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Cultivation (rototilling or hoeing) will effectively eliminate plants.
  • Hand-pull to eliminate weeds.
  • Apply organic mulches, such as bark, compost, grass clippings, straw, and other materials, in a layer from two to several inches thick for effective weed management.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply according to label instructions. Glyphosate products should be applied as spot treatments only! NOTE: Some ingredients listed here are only available in combination. Read the label carefully on combination products to make sure the product is suitable for your specific situation.

Landscape areas
  • glyphosate
Turf areas
    Bare ground areas
    • glyphosate

    + Show larger images

    Caption: Downy brome
    Photo by: J.A. Kropf
    Caption: Downy brome established in field
    Photo by: J.A. Kropf