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Wimmera Rye-Grass

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Wimmera Rye-Grass photos

Scientific Name:Lolium rigidum
Wimmera Ryegrass - spikes
Wimmera Ryegrass - spikes
Photo: A J Brown

Other Common Name:

Annual Rye-grass


Native to the Mediterranean. Naturalised in all Australian States.

Plant Description:

Annual grass, up to 90 cm tall and forming tussocky clumps. Lower stems and nodes are often purplish or reddish. Leaves are long and narrow, without hairs, are ribbed on the upper surface and have a shiny lower surface. The flower-head is a narrow spike with short flattened spikelets on either side of the spike’s stem (rachis). The stalkless spikelets arise from hollows along the rachis are orientated with their thin edges facing the rachis. The spikelets contain 5-11 florets. Flowers in spring and early summer.


Found on a range of soil types from sandy loams, clay loams to heavy clays.

RegionSalinity ClassWaterlogging Class
Mallee, Loddon Murray, Central and Northern, Wimmera, Western, Gippsland S0, S1, S2W0, W1, W2


The species has been sown with clovers to produce pasture swards because of it's high palatability. Also occurs in wasteland, and sometimes invades and competes with crops. Mainly a winter and spring growing plant. Large amounts of pollen are produced and this often causes hay fever.

Very similar to other species of Rye-grass, such as Perennial Rye-grass –
Lolium perenne and Italian Rye-grass – Lolium multiflorum, but compared with which, it generally has greater salt tolerance. From the former it differs from having longer glumes (> spikelet length) and rolled leaves, instead of flat or folded leaves, when emerging or young. Italian Rye-grass differs from both other species in each floret having an awn from at least 4 mm long. However, these distinctions are often confused due to hybridisation between all the species.

Wimmera Rye-Grass Photos

Wimmera Ryegrass - flower spike
Wimmera Ryegrass - flowering spike
Photo: A J Brown
Wimmera Ryegrass - spikelet
Wimmera Ryegrass - spikelet
Photo: A J Brown

Wimmera Ryegrass - basal stems
Wimmera Ryegrass - basal stems
Photo: A J Brown

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