Lolium temulentum L.


Sp. Pl. 83 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Extinct

Establishment means:Introduced

Tufted annual, culms stiffly erect, to 100 cm high. Leaf-blades flat, to 40 cm long and 13 mm wide; ligules to 2.5 mm long; auricles usually well-developed, narrow, often stem-clasping. Spike to 35 cm long; rachis mostly more than 1 mm (to 3 mm) diam. Spikelets 4–10-flowered, 10–26 mm long (excluding awns when present); glume about as long as spikelet; lemma ovate to elliptic, smooth and shining, becoming plump toward maturity.

Apparently an almost obligate weed of cereal and/or flax crops originating as a contaminant of seedlots. Modern seed supplies appear to have largely, if not entirely eliminated the species from cultivation in Victoria, there being no post-1950 specimens of L. temulentum represented in the Melbourne Herbarium. Collected localities include Mildura, Dimboola, Ararat, St Arnaud, Bendigo, Weribee, Benalla, Dookie, Bairnsdale.

The European species Lolium remotum Schrank is a somewhat dubious taxon, differentiated from L. temulentum only by virtue of its more elongate inflorescence, with smaller spikelets (6-15 mm long) separated on the rachis by a distance greater than the length of the spikelets. The species appears to be an obligate weed of flax (Linum) crops and is represented by two collections at MEL, one from Leongatha (undated) and another from Werribee (1941). With the demise of the Australian flax industry (post Second World War), L. remotum appears to have also disappeared from this country.

Two apparently coextensive formas are recognized.

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.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-01-08
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Lolium
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa


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

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
New South Wales