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Common Name: True Cheat

Other Names: Cheat, Chess, Rye Brome

Species Name: Bromus secalinus L.

Plant Type: Grasses & Grass-like

Family Name: Poaceae





Plant Facts  
Origin Introduced, Europe
Duration Annual
Season Cool
Distribution in Oklahoma Throughout the state, however is concentrated in the central part of Oklahoma



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics
    • The ligule and tiny auricles are typical of many of the bromes
    • The spikes of cheat are smooth with shortened awns
    • Margins of lemmas are deeply in-rolled, visible floret bases and rachilla internodes at maturity
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Sheath: Loose, smooth, flattened, slightly hairy on the margins
    • Blade: Flat, sometimes folded, tapering to a point, may be rough to the touch
    • Ligule: Membranous, fringed with hairs
    • Culm: Flattened, may be upright or growing flat on the ground
  • Inflorescence Characteristics
    • Inflorescence: Spike of 6-20 spiny, hairy burs; terminal, spikes sometimes partially enclosed in upper leaf
    • Spikelet: Spikelets surrounded by bur; bur is round or oval, densely hairy, covered with 45-65 upward pointing spines
    • Florets: 2, 1 sterile and 1 fertile; sterile floret is smaller than the fertile floret
    • Lemmas: Narrow, pointed, smooth
    • Awns: None; numerous spines
    • Glumes: Unequal; first glume less than 1/3 length of spikelet, narrow, pointed; second glume longer, wider, pointed



Soil Type It grows particularly well in sandy soils, as its name implies, but also occurs in heavier soils
Habitat Around farmsteads, roads, waste places, cultivated fields, lawns and rangeland in poor conditions
Successional Stage Mid


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