Scientific Name:
Lolium multiflorum Lam. (1778)
  • = Lolium italicum A. Braun (1834)
Vernacular Name(s):
Italian ryegrass; Westerwolds ryegrass

Annual to biennial, slender to rather stout tufts, (20)–40–100–(130) cm; branching intravaginal, leaf-blade rolled when young. Leaf-sheath glabrous, pink at base to light brown above, not becoming very fibrous; upper sheaths sometimes scabrid. Auricles usually present, to 1.6 mm. Ligule (0.6)–1–2.5 mm, truncate, glabrous. Leaf-blade (5.5)–8–30 cm × (0.7)–2.5–9–(11) mm, abaxially glabrous and shining, adaxially smooth or usually scaberulous; margins scaberulous, tapered to scabrid acute tip. Culm 10–60 cm, erect, or spreading or decumbent, often branched below, internodes smooth. Spikes (9.5)–15–35–(45) cm, erect or curved; rachis c. 1 mm wide, usually ± scabrid. Spikelets 14–25 mm, (4)–9–14-flowered, green or purplish, overlapping, or more than their own length apart. Upper glume usually « spikelet, 5–7-nerved, narrow-lanceolate or narrow-oblong, obtuse or acute, glabrous. Lemma 6–8 mm, 5-nerved, oblong or oblong-lanceolate, smooth or minutely scaberulous especially on hyaline margins, not turgid at maturity, apex obtuse or shortly bifid; awn (2)–4–10 mm, fine, straight, subapical. Palea ≈ lemma, keels scaberulous. Anthers 3–4.5 mm. Caryopsis 2–4 × 0.5–1.5 mm.

[From: Edgar and Connor (2000) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 5 (second printing).]