Native to Europe, but now widely distributed throughout the United States.
A perennial grass, widely cultivated as a pasture grass as well as a turf variety. As an escape from cultivation it is a problem in crops, roadsides, and ditchbanks, especially favoring moist areas.
Flowering occurs in late spring into early summer.
Mature plants grow to 2 feet tall, and foliage dies back in the winter with regrowth from roots. Stems are erect or somewhat spreading at the base, with a reddish tint. Italian ryegrass plants are generally taller, reaching 3 feet.
Leaves are dark green, up to 8 inches long, and only ¼ inch wide. Where the leaf blade joins the sheath at the stem there are no “ear-like” projections, as there are on Italian ryegrass. Another difference is that on Perennial ryegrass the leaves are folded within the new bud, whereas in Italian ryegrass the leaves are rolled.
Flower stalks are a slender spike up to 10 inches long, with numerous spikelets arranged alternately along the stem. Each spikelet is flattened, and contains 8 to 10 flowers. Italian ryegrass spikelets each contain from 10 to 20 flowers.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
A perennial grass that favors moist areas.