Scientific Name: Lolium perenne

Common Name: perennial ryegrass

Other Common Names: Italian ryegrass

Habit: An upright grass with slim seedlings that grows in bunches

Leaves: Smooth leaves are typically 2-4mm wide, with a prominent, white midrib and keeled (boat-shaped) tip. Shiny and often lime green

Identifying Characteristics: This species is similar to Italian ryegrass. Because Italian ryegrass is a subspecies of perennial ryegrass, they can share characteristics, but perennial ryegrass typically has these characteristics (compared to Italian ryegrass): panicle-type flower (as opposed to a spike), folded vernation (as opposed to rolled), short auricles (as opposed to clasping auricles), short perennial life cycle (as opposed to annual), and a smooth stem (as opposed to scabrous)

Flower Seed Head: Typically as a panicle (though sometimes as a spike or branched spike), with 1/2-1in long spikelets and 2-3in long lemma

Seed Fruit: Small, hulled seeds

Where Found: This species can be cultivated and is therefore often found as an agricultural weed. It also can be found as a turf weed or in other well-drained environments. It is native to Europe and is found throughout North America

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rolled in bud; folded in bud

  • Hair surface: no hairs

  • Ligule: membrane

  • Length: 1-2 mm; less than 1 mm

  • Seed head: branched spike; spike; panicle

  • Width: less than 5 mm

  • Grass stem: round