Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Natural ecosystems in the semiarid West face many stressors. Among the most challenging are those associated with invasive plant species. One invader that has had great impact over the last 100 years is the annual grass known as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). A few years ago, I made two observations that both confirmed and broadened my perception of this plant. In the first, I saw it growing on sodden roofs in an historic community near the Mississippi River. I was reminded that the scientific name roughly means "brome grass that grows on roofs" and I gained insight into its long coexistence with humans. Later that day I observed a plant growing in the mud on the bank of the river. I pondered about what that place could possibly have in common with the vast shrublands of the semiarid West where cheatgrass has become so entrenched. Recently I found plants growing directly from the smallest of cracks in massive limestone slabs in the deserts of western Utah (Fig. 1). Reflexively I pondered, "Is there any place on earth cheatgrass cannot grow?"

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Kitchen, Stanley G. 2014. Learning to live with cheatgrass: Giving up or a necessary paradigm shift? Rangelands. 36(2): 32-36.


    Google Scholar


    cheatgrass, species migrations, invasives, Intermountain West, Bromus tectorum, ecosystem services

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page