Perennial Rye-grass - Lolium perenne


     Smooth wiry stems and inflorescence spikes 4 to 30 cm long. The stalkless spikelets are arranged along the stem in two opposite and alternating rows, edgeways on to the stem 7 to 20 mm long, flattened, oblong with their narrow edges facing the stem. Lemmas are usually awnless.

    Similar Species

    Lolium multiflorum - which has 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 folded, not rolled. Florets usually have no awns.


    Meadows, grassland and waste ground.

    When to see it

    May to September.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Very common throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 604 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