Lolium multiflorum

Scientific Name Lolium multiflorum Lam.
Common Names English: Italian ryegrass; German: Italienisches Raygras; French: Ivraie multiflore; Spanish: Pasto inglés, Zacate italiano, Raigras criollo
Description L. multiflorum is a cool-season annual or biannual tuft-forming bunchgrass.

Descriptions

Characteristic Features

It is little taller ( 60 to 90 cm; 23.62 - 35.43 inch) than perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and has seeds with awns.

Young Plant

Leaf blades are green to dark green, hairless, flat, the upper surface is evenly ribbed, the lower surface smooth and shiny. Length up to 40 cm (15.74 inch), width 5-12 mm (0.197 - 0.47 inch), young leaves are rolled in the bud.

Stems

Erect or patulous, smooth, rough below the spike, 30-100 cm (11.81 - 39.37 inch) high.

Leaves

The ligule is translucent, shorter than wide, erose.
Auricles are conspicuous claw-like, small and narrow (scalelike).
The ligule is strongly overlapping medium long.
The sheaths are usually tinged red at the base and without hairs.
The leaves usually have a glossy appearance on the lower surfaces.

Propagatio Organs

Flowers

The spikes are 10-40 cm (3.93 - 15.74 inch) in length.
The spikelets edge-on to the rachis. Spikelets with 10 - 20 florets, laterally flattened, green, 8 - 30 mm (0.31 - 1.18 inch) long. Terminal spikelet with 2 more or less equal glumes. Otherwise, only one glume subtending each spikelet.
Awn nearly terminal, fine, straight, about 10 - 15 mm (0.39 - 0.59 inch) long.
Palea similar to lemma in shape and size, 2 nerves with tiny hairs.

Flowering Period

Early summer.

Fruit

Caryopsis, glume shorter than spikelet.

Seeds

Germination in autumn and spring.
Seeds with awns.

Viability Of Seeds

2-5 years.

Propagation

By seed.
> 1,000 viable seeds per m² (93/sq. ft.)

Occurrence

Habitat

Italian ryegrass as a weed is a cool-season annual bunchgrass. It grows as a summer annual in Mediterranean-type climates. This species is also a predominant forage grass in Europe and in the United States.

Soil

It has a wide range of adaptability to soils, but thrives best on dark rich soils in regions with mild climates. It does not withstand hot, dry weather or severe winters.

Additional Crop Information

L. multiflorum is principally a weed of winter- and spring-sown cereals, and is also common in oilseed rape, flax, vegetable crops and orchards. It has the potential, however, to be a weed of any crop grown within its geographical range.

Agricultural Importance

L.multiflorum is a most important premier grass species for intensive grassland, pasture and meadows and a valuable fodder grass. In arable crops it can be a weed, which is more competitive than annual ryegrass.

Control

Integrated Crop Management

Intensive grazing in infested pastures, deep soil tillage in arable land (burying of weed seed below 5 cm; 1.968 inch) can greatly reduce the amount of ryegrass germinating with or in the crop, delaying seeding of the crop often reduces emergence of ryegrass and increases competition of the crop.

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