E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lolium multiflorum Lam.
Italian ryegrass (annual ryegrass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #20793)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Lolium multiflorum
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Annual, tufted or short-lived perennial grass from fibrous roots, with some vegetative shoots; stems erect, to 150 cm tall.
Sheaths smooth; blades flat, in-rolled in young shoots, often rough-hairy on the upper surfaces, (2) 3-8 (13) mm wide; ear-shaped lobes at the leaf-bases sickle-shaped (rarely absent); ligules 0.5-2 mm long, membranous.
Inflorescence a spike with 5 to 38, 2-ranked, solitary spikelets, 15-45 cm long; spikelets (10-) 11- to 22-flowered, unstalked, 8-31 mm long, 2-10 mm wide, all but the terminal ones with 1 glume; glumes 5-18 mm long, 1/4-1/2 as long as the spikelets; lemmas 4-8.2 mm long, 1-2 mm wide, the awns to 15 mm long (rarely unawned), attached 0.2-0.7 mm below the tips; anthers (2.5) 3-4.5 (5) mm.
A commercially important species as a forage crop and as a rapidly germinating and ephemeral nurse crop in companion planting and soil stabilization. Since Lolium perenne and L. multiflorum are interfertile and intergrade, they are sometimes considered conspecific. Hybrids between the two species are called Lolium x hybridum Hausskn.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to moist pastures, fields, meadows, roadsides and disturbed areas in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent throughout S BC, rare northward; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lolium multiflorum subsp. italicum (A. Braun) Schinz & R. Keller
Lolium multiflorum var. diminutum Mutel
Lolium multiflorum var. muticum DC.
Lolium perenne subsp. italicum (A. Braun) Husnot
Lolium perenne var. aristatum Willd.
Lolium perenne var. multiflorum (Lam.) Parnell

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References