This is a winter annual plant that grows from 4 to 30 inches tall.
It spreads by seed.
Entire plant is convered with dense, soft hair.
Seed heads are 2 to 6 inches long and “drooping”.
Awns up to 5/8 of an inch long turn purplish at maturity.
Standard name is “downy brome”.
Cheatgrass is native to the Europe, Africa, and Asia and was introduced to North America in packing material. It is highly invasive in the dry western states and forms monocultures that are both a nuisance and a fire hazard. Seeds stick in clothing, shoes, and fur. Mature plants are not palatable to livestock. It invades pastures, prairies, and rangeland areas. This plant is found throughout Natrona County.
Chemical applications in the late fall are beginning to show promise! Cultural control (planting of desirable grasses) is helpful after chemical applications. Call your local weed district for specific recommendations.