LOLIUM L. Ryegrass
Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose, annual. Culms erect or ascending or decumbent, glabrous; internodes
hollow, terete. Leaves cauline; sheaths terete, margins open; auricles present (membranous); ligules membranous; blades
flat or folded (narrow). Spikes with rachis persistent. Spikelets solitary, laterally compressed; disarticulation above glumes,
awned or awnless, sessile; florets 5-9, reduced floret at apex; callus glabrous; rachilla not extending above upper floret;
glumes 1; the first absent on all but the terminal spikelet, second glumes 3-7-veined (round on back), shorter than first
floret or longer than spikelet, glabrous, awnless; lemmas 5-7-veined, membranous to chartaceous, glabrous or scabrous, apex
obtuse to acute, awned to awnless, awns (1)apical (straight); paleas 2-veined, awnless, glabrous or scabrous, veins short ciliate.
Stamens 3; anthers yellow. Caryopses slightly adnate to lemma and palea, dorsiventrally compressed. Base chromosome number x=7.
A temperate genus of about eight species from Eurasia and northern Africa. The species are important for
livestock forage, lawns, and as weeds.