Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Gramineae
Lolium perenne

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 83 (1753).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Perennial ryegrass.

Annual to 120 cm; stems generally reddish even at maturity; leaf blades to 20 em x 8 mm, acute, generally glabrous and shiny but occasionally scabridulous above.

Spike 5-25 cm; rhachis flexuose, slender to slightly rigid, to 1.2 mm diam.; spikelets 5-20 x c.2.5 mm, with 3-10 fertile and 0-3 rudimentary florets; glumes lanceolate or narrowly oblong, about one-half to three-quarters the length of the spikelet; lemmas unawned.

Published illustration: Burbidge (1968)Australian grasses 2:pl. 52.

Distribution:  Naturalised in high rainfall and irrigation areas.

S.Aust.: NU, FR, EP, NL, MU, YP, SL, KI, SE.   All mainland States; native to Europe but also arising spontaneously in situ where the parent species are growing together.   Native to Eurasia.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Aug. — Dec.

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

Biology: The most important pasture grass of northern Europe and introduced to Australia very early for that purpose. A number of local cultivars are available. Many morphological forms have been recognised in Europe and some have been found occasionally in Australia. They seem to be of little significance, particularly in S.Aust.

Uses: This hybrid has not been differentiated in agriculture but is included in the annual rye-grass complex providing valuable feed in pastures and competition in crops. Very widespread.

Taxonomic notes: The diagnostic characters are about intermediate between those of its parents.

Author: Not yet available

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