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Perennial Rye-grass

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Perennial Rye-grass photos

Scientific Name:Lolium perenne
Flower spikes of Perennial Rye-grass
Flower spikes of Perennial Rye-grass
Photo: A J Brown

Status:

Native of temperate Europe, northern Africa and Asia. Naturalised throughout Australia

Plant Description:

Tufted perennial grass to 90 cm tall with flat, hairless, smooth, often shiny, leaf blades to 30 cm long and 6 mm wide. Flower-heads are spikes to 30 cm long, each spikelet having only one glume subtending up to 14 florets (commonly 7-8) and attached edge-on to the flower stalk (rachis).

Habitat:

Common grass across the wetter parts of Victoria but also scattered in the Mallee and Wimmera if conditions are wet enough. Often persistent on heavier soils and has reasonably good waterlogging tolerance. Indicative of fresh-water environments, whereas
Wimmera Rye-grass (Lolium rigidum) may be found on slightly saline sites.

RegionSalinity ClassWaterlogging Class
Mallee, Loddon Murray, WimmeraS0W2
Central and Northern, Western, GippslandS0W0, W1, W2

Comments:

A purposely sown species with many cultivars developed for grazed pastures and hay crops. Hybridization with other Rye-grass species occurs and often makes clear identification difficult. From Wimmera Rye-grass (
Lolium rigidum) it differs in having glumes only to as long as the spikelet compared to glumes longer than in the former. The young emerging leaves of Perennial Rye-grass are flat or folded compared to the rolled leaves of Wimmera Rye-grass. From Tall Wheat-grass (Lophopyrum ponticum) it differs (among other things) in the orientation of its spikelets to the rachis.

Perennial Rye-grass photos

Perennial Rye-grass leaf blade and stem junction
Perennial Rye-grass leaf blade and stem junction

Photo: A J Brown
Opening spikelets of Perennial Rye-grass showing anthers
Opening spikelets of Perennial Rye-grass showing anthers
Photo: A J Brown

Exserted anthers of Perennial Rye-grass
Exserted anthers of Perennial Rye-grass
Photo: A J Brown

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