Secale cereale L.


Sp. Pl. 84 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Sparingly established

Slender, erect annual to 1.5 m high, culms pubescent below the inflorescence. Leaves glabrous, smooth to finely scabrous; blade flat, 10–25 cm long, 3–10 mm wide; ligule truncate, membranous, 1–2 mm long; falcate auricles sometimes developed. Inflorescence a dense spike, 5–15 cm long (excluding awns), usually drooping at maturity; rachis silky-hairy along lateral angles. Spikelets 12–25 mm long (excluding awns), with 2 equal, opposed florets; glumes equal, subulate, 6–12 mm long, strongly keeled; lemma lanceolate, 7–15 mm long, scabrous-ciliate along keel and margins, evenly tapered to the 2–5 cm long, scabrous awn; palea subequal to body of lemma. Flowers Aug.–Sep.

*CVU, *GipP, *Gold, *HSF, *LoM, *NIS, *OtP, *VVP, *Wim. Observed in Victoria chiefly in the north-west where cultivated for green fodder and grain, but likely to appear wherever grain is spilt (e.g. vicinity of stock or grain-handling yards).

An intergeneric hybrid between S. cereale and Triticum aestivum, known as 'Triticale', is becoming valued as a crop in the western part of the State. It appears to be more resistant to fungal disease than wheat and its yields are comparable to that crop.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1994). Poaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Secale
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Secale cereale in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Secale cereale in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present introduced
Wimmera present introduced
Victorian Volcanic Plain present introduced
Gippsland Plain present introduced
Otway Plain present introduced
Goldfields present introduced
Central Victorian Uplands present introduced
Northern Inland Slopes present introduced
Highlands-Southern Fall present introduced

State distribution

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