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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Gramineae
Lolium multiflorum

Citation: Lam., Fl. Franc. 3:621 (1779).

Synonymy: L. italicum A. Braun, Flora 17:259 (1834); L. perenne L. var. multiflorum Parnell, Grasses Brit. 302 (1845).

Common name: Italian ryegrass.

Annual to 120 cm; stems straw-coloured to reddish at maturity; leaf blades to 20 cm x 6 mm, acute, glabrous beneath, glabrous or (occasionally) scabridulous above, generally shiny in appearance.

Spike 5-30 cm; rhachis generally thin but occasionally slightly rigid, to 1.2 mm diam.; spikelets 4-18 x 2-5 mm, with 4-14 fertile and 0-2 rudimentary florets; glumes lanceolate or narrowly oblong, from half to almost the same length of the spikelet; lemma with an awn to 5 (or rarely to 10) mm.

Published illustration: Burbidge (1970)Australian grasses 3:pl. 70.

Distribution:  Only known from high rainfall areas where it readily hybridises. True L. multiflorum is rare in S.Aust.

S.Aust.: SL, SE.   All States.   Native to Europe but also arising spontaneously in situ where the parent species are growing together.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Sept. — Dec.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Uses: This hybrid has not been differentiated in agriculture but is part of the annual rye-grass complex providing valuable feed in pastures. It is also a major crop weed.

Taxonomic notes: Previously not distinguished in Australia. The characters are more or less intermediate to those of its parents. The name L. hubbardii Jansen & Wachter has been applied to this hybrid, but the name was invalidly published (see Kloot, 1983).

Author: Not yet available

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