West Highland Flora

Italian Ryegrass

Lolium multiflorum


Lolium multiflorum

Photo Carl Farmer
12 Jun 2004 Portree, Skye

Uncommon, most likely to be found on road verges.  Not native.  Cultivars exist.

Spikelets c 10-25 mm long.  Plant up to 100 cm high.

ID: Spikelets alternating up the axis, with only one glume except for the terminal spikelet which has two.  Lemmas nearly always awned.  (In L perenne awns are very rare).  However to be absolutely sure, check whether the young leaves are folded (L multiflorum) or rolled (L perenne) as they emerge from the sheath.

Other features: Annual or biennial.  Awns normally about as long as the lemmas.  A larger plant than L perenne, with more florets per spikelet, and with the spikelet normally much longer in relation to its glume.  Leaves up to 10 mm wide.  Ligule c 1 mm high, like that of L perenne.

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