Scientific Name: Lolium perenne ssp. multiflorum

Common Name: Italian ryegrass

Other Common Names: annual ryegrass

Synonyms: Lolium multiflorum, Lolium perenne ssp. Italicum, Lolium perenne var. aristatum, Lolium perenne var. multiflorum

Habit: This clump forming grass spreads by seed and has a fibrous root system.

Leaves: Leaves are rough to touch on top side with a glossy underside, veins are prominent with smooth margins.

Identifying Characteristics: Wide collar region with narrow claw-like auricles seed head is a 4-16 in long spike.

Flower Seed Head: 4-16 in long spike with alternate spikelets along the stem. Each spikelet is made up of a long awn with 10 to 20 florets.

Where Found: Across the United States this species is a problem in turf, orchards, landscapes, nurseries, and grain crops. This plant likes cool weather and can thrive in most soil types.

  • Life cycle: winter annual

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rolled in bud

  • Hair surface: no hairs; hairs from base to tip

  • Ligule: membrane

  • Length: 1-2 mm; 2-3 mm; less than 1 mm

  • Root structure: fibrous

  • Seed head: multiple spikes

  • Width: 6 to 15 mm; less than 5 mm

  • Grass stem: round