- Weed Description: A winter annual grass that can reach as much as 3.5 feet in height. Cheat is found in cultivated areas, agronomic crop fields (most notably wheat), pastures, roadsides, and waste areas. Native to Europe, cheat is also found in all of the continental United States.
- Leaves: Leaves are rolled in the bud, measuring as much as 4 to 8 inches in length and 4.5 mm in width. Cheat is without auricles, and has a 2-3 mm toothed membranous ligule. Leaf hairs are variable on the upper surface, but lower leaf surfaces almost always contain hairs.
- Stems: Erect stems that are seldom bent at lower nodes. Stem nodes are distinctively thick with small hairs.
- Flowers: Seedheads are panicles with individual spikelets. Seedheads are slightly droopy but more upright that downy brome. Individual spikelets have short awns.
- Identifying Characteristics: Cheat is similar in appearance to downy brome and hybridization between species can occur. However, the leaves of cheat are less hairy and spikelets have shorter awns than those of downy brome. In addition, the seedheads of cheat are more upright than downy brome which has a distinct "drooping" seedhead.
(Missouri University - Weed Science, Division of Plant Science)
Pest photo source
Dr. Dallas Peterson, Agronomy, KSU