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Eastern Washington

Picture of cheatgrass or Bromus tectorum
Cheatgrass in the Columbia Wildlife Refuge

Cheatgrass or Bromus tectorum is an invasive weedy annual that sprouts fall through spring, grows rapidly in dense expanses, and produces tons of seeds that are easily recognized as they poke into socks by the hundreds while walking through it. This plant generally outcompetes native bunchgrasses as it sucks moisture and nitrogen from the soil, and eventually produces dangerously hot wildfires resulting in sterile burns which happen to be well-suited for its rapid spread and ultimate dominance.

However, the transplanted eurasian game bird, chukar, is adapted to live off cheatgrass and so where cheatgrass thrives, chukars thrive also.

Picture of cheatgrass - Bromus tectorum
Cheatgrass or Bromus tectorum
near Lake Roosevelt