Italian Rye-grass - Lolium multiflorum


    This grass has smooth wiry stems and long inflorescences of stalkless spikelets arranged along the stem in two opposite, alternating rows, edgeways on to the stem, similar to L. perenne, but the lemmas are usually long awned (to 10 mm), and its leaves are wider (to 10 mm). It is also usually taller than L. perenne.

    Similar Species

    Lolium perenne - which doesn't usually have awns

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Inflorescence a spike with stalkless (sessile), flattened spikelets alternating up the rhachis edgeways-on to it. Young tiller leaves are rolled, not folded. Florets are usually awned.


    Arable and cultivated fields and sown grassland.

    When to see it

    May to September.

    Life History

    Annual or biennial.

    UK Status

    Common throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Quite common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 384 of the 617 tetrads.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map