Page author: Don Knoke
Lolium multiflorum
annual ryegrass, Italian ryegrass, perennial ryegrass

Distribution: Introduced and well established in much of temperate North America.

Habitat: Roadsides and waste ground.

Flowers: May - July

Origin: Introduced

Growth Duration: Biennial, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous biennial or short-lived perennial, the hollow culms 5-12 dm. tall.


Sheaths open; auricles well-developed on most of the leaves, up to 1.5 mm. long; ligules 0.5-1.5 mm. long, membranous; blades 4-8 mm. broad, flat or slightly involute.


Inflorescence a single terminal spike 10-25 cm. long, the spikelets on opposite sides of the continuous rachis to which they are attached edgewise; spikelets 8- to 15-flowered, up to 2.5 cm. long; glume acute, 7-12 mm. long, the glume next to the rachis lacking except on the terminal floret; lemmas slightly bifid, 5-nerved, usually with a sub-terminal dorsal awn 2-8 mm. long; paleas subequal to the lemmas, firm, 2-nerved.

Accepted Name:
Lolium multiflorum Lam.
Publication: Fl. Franç. 3: 621. 1779.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Lolium multiflorum Lam. ssp. italicum (A. Braun) Schinz & R. Keller
Lolium multiflorum Lam. var. diminutum Mutel
Lolium multiflorum Lam. var. muticum DC.
Lolium perenne L. ssp. italicum (A. Braun) Husnot
Lolium perenne L. ssp. multiflorum (Lam.) Husn.
Lolium perenne L. var. aristatum Willd.
Lolium perenne L. var. multiflorum (Lam.) Parnell
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Lolium multiflorum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Lolium multiflorum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Lolium multiflorum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Lolium multiflorum photos.

USDA Plants: Lolium multiflorum information.

17 photographs:
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