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Italian rye-grass

Lolium multiflorum


An increasing problem in arable situations. Many of the rye-grasses encountered in arable weed situations may be commercial hybrids with associated high vigour. Herbicide resistance is growing.

Leaf blade

Dark green, hairless. Leaf blade rolled in bud.


Large, stout, fast growing and densely tufted annual or biennial 30-90 cm. Flower head is flattened with the spikelets arranged alternatively on opposite sides of the stem. Spikelets are awned, unlike perennial rye-grass.


Short: 1-2 mm. Blunt.


Small if present.

Rye-grass young plant

Rye-grass young plant

Italian rye-grass ligule. Photo © HGCA.

Italian rye-grass ligule. Photo © HGCA.

Italian rye-grass close-up of spikelets. Note the presence of awns.

Italian rye-grass young plant. © Blackthorn arable.

Italian rye-grass ligule. © Blackthorn arable.