Lolium perenne L.

Perennial Ryegrass

Loose turf-forming cool season, perennial. Leaf folded in bud, rolled in mature tillers. Leaf blade green, glossy, keeled, prominently ridged above, glossy below margins slightly rough. Ligule membranous, 0.5-2 mm, may be toothed near apex. Sheath hairless, reddish near base, split, with overlapping margins. Inflorescence a narrow, erect, flat spike, with awnless spikelets arranged alternately in two rows. Lemmas without awns.

Europe, Asia and North America

Valued as a pasture grass and as a turf grass for use in lawns, race courses, sports fields, in cool temperate environments. Overseas it has been cultivated for several hundred years and there are many variants.


L. multiflorum Lam., Italian Ryegrass, from Central and southern Europe has an awn 5-15 mm long and florets more than 3 times as long as broad. It is grown as a pasture and turf grass for sport and recreation grounds, often mixed with clovers and crops, and is frequently seen growing along roadsides.

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.

Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Poales
family       Poaceae
genus        Lolium L.