Lolium L.


Classical Latin name for Lolium temulentum.

Tufted herbaceous annuals and perennials. Leaves with blades flat, usually narrow and rolled in the bud. Ligules membranous and truncated; auricles usually well developed and caliper-like. Inflorescence of flower clusters forming terminal spikes of partially embedded spikelets. Spikelets solitary, stalkless, laterally flattened and slightly within shallow cavities of the axis, bisexual with 3-20 flowers. Lower glume absent on all but the terminal spikelet, upper glume 3-9 nerved, terminal spikelet with 2 equal glumes. Lemmas 5-9 nerved. Palea 2-nerved, 7-keeled.

Several species may be seen along roadsides, among crops and on waste ground.


Perennial Ryegrass and Italian Ryegrass are major pasture and lawn grasses. A valuable grazing and hay grass. Annual Ryegrass (L. multiflorum) is an occasional crop weed.

Similar to Triticum, Barley, in having symmetrical spikes. In Lolium the spikelets have one edge against the axis and only the exterior glume develops, except in the terminal spikelet.

10 species from temperate Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean.

Source: Spencer, R.; Aldous, D.; Stajsic, V.; McGeary, D (2005). Poaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Poales
family       Poaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Lolium perenne L.