Scientific name: Bromus secalinus L.
Synonyms: Chess, rye bromegrass
Cheat is a tufted, erect, winter annual grass species that is native to Europe. Cheat prefers open areas with full sunlight, such as cultivated fields, roadsides, and pastures. Seedling cheat can be identified by a hair-less leaf sheaths, a twisted leaf blade, and a toothed membranous ligule. Mature plants can grow to heights of 4 feet. Stems are occasionally bent at the lower nodes and nodes exhibit hairs. The seedhead of cheat is multiple open panicles, which tend to nod to one side. Cheat is commonly confused with Italian ryegrass (Lolium perenne ssp. multiflorum), downy brome (Bromus tectorum), as well as other Bromus species. However, differences such as longer awns and hair on the leaf sheaths are present on downy brome and not on cheat.
Cheat is problematic in wheat and other crops such as late-planted soybean which can extend into the emergence window of this weed. Cheat can also pose problems in pastures, as this weed has long awns that can cause injury to livestock.
Bryson, C.T. and M.S. DeFelice. 2009. Weeds of the South. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. pp. 357