Lolium multiflorum Lam.

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Synonyms: Lolium italicum A. Braun
Lolium scabrum J. S. Presl ex C. B. Presl
Common names: Italian ryegrass (English)
A caespitose annual or biennial. Culms 30-80(100) cm. tall, 2-5-noded, sometimes solitary, simple or branched below, erect or geniculately ascending, smooth or scaberulous beneath the inflorescence. Leaf-sheaths prominently striate, dorsally rounded, tight at first, later somewhat loose, smooth or more rarely scaberulous, glabrous. Ligule 1-2 mm. long, membranous. Leaf-laminae 6-25 x 0·4-1 cm., linear, tapering to a fine soft point, with narrow auricles at the base, involute in young shoots, smooth and glossy on the lower and often scaberulous on the upper surface. Spikes 10-30 cm. long, erect or sometimes nodding, rather compressed, often tinged with purple; rhachis usually scabrous. Spikelets 7·5-25 mm. long, 5-15-flowered, elliptic-oblong to obovate-oblong in lateral view, glabrous. Superior glume much shorter than the spikelet, 4-7-nerved, narrowly oblong or lanceolate-oblong, obtuse to acute. Lemmas 5-8 mm. long, 5-nerved, awned, imbricate, oblong to lanceolate-oblong, with the apex obtuse and 2-dentate; awn up to 10 mm. long, straight, slender. Paleas scaberulous along the keels. Anthers 3-4·5 mm. long. Caryopsis 3-3·5 mm. long.
Derivation of specific name: multiflorum: many-flowered
Habitat: Growing in lawns, on waste places, in arable land and along roads in higher rainfall areas
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Central and Southern Europe, north-western Africa and temperate regions of Asia. Introduced into almost all temperate areas of the rest of the world
Zimbabwe distribution: C,E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 37.

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 68.

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 43 - 44. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 106.

Other sources of information about Lolium multiflorum:

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Lolium multiflorum
African Plant Database: Lolium multiflorum
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Lolium multiflorum
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Lolium multiflorum
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Lolium multiflorum
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Lolium multiflorum
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Lolium multiflorum
JSTOR Plant Science: Lolium multiflorum
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Lolium multiflorum
Plants of the World Online: Lolium multiflorum
Tropicos: Lolium multiflorum
Wikipedia: Lolium multiflorum

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Lolium multiflorum., retrieved 21 April 2024

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