Lolium perenne L.

Perennial Ryegrass

Sp. Pl. 1: 83 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Tufted perennial, culms erect, to 60(–90) cm high. Leaf-blades flat, folded when young, to 20 cm long and 5 mm wide; ligules to 2.5 mm long; auricles inconspicuous or absent. Spike to 8–22(–30) cm long; rachis c. 1 mm diam. Spikelets (2–)5–14-flowered, 7–23 mm long; glume one-third as long as to subequal to the spikelet; lemma oblong-lanceolate, unawned. Flowers Sep.-Feb.

*Brid, *CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HNF, *HSF, *LoM, *MuF, *MuM, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *WPro, *Wim. Widespread and common through much of the State, but rather rare in drier districts where largely replaced by L. rigidum.

A variable species with many selected strains in cultivation. Var. cristatum Pers. is sometimes recognised as distinct, differing from the typical variety in having a short (to c. 5 cm), broad spike, with the internodes of the rachis very short (1–2 mm), so that the spikelets are crowded and diverge from the axis nearly at right angles. It is apparently rare in Victoria, with collections known from only Lilydale, Nathalia, and near Kaniva. Lolium x hybridum Hausskn. is a hybrid between L. multiflorum and L. perenne, likely to occur where both species occur in proximity. Its lemmas may be awned or awnless.

Commonly cultivated as a lawn or fodder crop.

Created by: Neville Walsh, 2015-11-20
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2015-11-20
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Lolium
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Lolium perenne in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Lolium perenne in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present naturalised
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Bridgewater present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Greater Grampians present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Wilsons Promontory present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised
Victorian Alps present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory