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Italian ryegrass
(Lolium multiflorum)


 

Pastures normally persist only 1-2 years, but they show high winter growth rates and good nutritive value, compared with perennial ryegrass. Often included in cropping rotations, for example, as a winter forage between two successive spring- sown cereal crops.

Tetraploid varieties have larger tiller size. Hybrids with perennial ryegrass are intermediate between the two parents.

Vegetative identification

 
  • distinguished from perennial ryegrass by the rolled emerging leaf. (Perennial ryegrass emerging leaf is folded);

  • leaf blades usually a little wider and yellower than perennial ryegrass.

    Compare Italian and perennial ryegrasses

Seed-head
  • Seed-head almost identical to perennial ryegrass with spikelet edges pressed against the stem and protected by a glume about half the length of the spikelet;
  • distinguished from perennial ryegrass by the fine awns on the ends of the lemma of each seed.
 

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Page last modified on 25 February 2003 and will expire on 1 January 2004