Weed Seed: Bromus secalinus (Cheat)
Canadian: Occurs in AB, BC, NB, NS, ON, QC, YT (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).
Worldwide: Native to southern and eastern Europe, northern Africa and temperate Asia (USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2). Introduced in Australia and North and South America, and common throughout most of the United States (Whitson et al. 1992Footnote 3, Barkworth et al. 2007Footnote 4, USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2). Cultivated in the western U.S. (Oregon, Washington) (USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2).
Duration of life cycle
Seed or fruit type
- Floret length: 6.5 - 8.5 mm
- Floret width: 1.75 - 2.5 mm
- Awn length: 3.0 - 6.0 mm
- Long, oval-shaped floret with extended lemma sides
- Lemma and palea are glabrous with hairy margins
- Floret is straw yellow
- Palea teeth thin and shorter than 1.0. mm
- Caryopsis thicker than other species of Bromus and often curled or folded.
Habitat and Crop Association
Cultivated fields, old fields, grassy places, slopes, shores, railway lines, roadsides, waste ground and disturbed areas (Darbyshire 2003Footnote 5, Barkworth et al. 2007Footnote 4, eFloras 2016Footnote 6). A weed of winter wheat and alfalfa fields (Davis 1993Footnote 7, Stone et al. 2001Footnote 8).
Cheat was historically a serious weed of cereal crops, perhaps accidently harvested and planted with them (Georgia 2007Footnote 9). Its decline in the second half of the 20th century has been attributed to improvements in seed cleaning technology (Wilson and King 2003Footnote 10, Adamczewski et al. 2015Footnote 11).
It has recently re-emerged as a pest of winter wheat in Europe, and minimum tillage practices are thought to promote this species (Adamczewski et al. 2015Footnote 11). Cheat occurs as a contaminant in seed and grain (Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) data).
Japanese Brome (Bromus japonicus)
- Japanese brome has a similar size, oval shape, straw colour and extended lemma sides.
- Japanese brome has a shorter and thinner awn than cheat, longer palea teeth and the caryopsis is thin and flat rather than thick and often curled.
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