Perennial ryegrass

Casey Reynolds, PhD



Latin Name: Lolium perenne L.

Growth Habit: Bunch-type

Vernation: Folded

Leaf: Ridges on upper surface and glossy on lower surface

Ligule: Membranous, truncate to rounded

Auricles: small, soft claw-like

Inflorescence: Spike with many spikelets; multiple florets per spikelet

Description: Perennial ryegrass is a cool-season turfgrass with dark color, fine leaf texture, and a bunch-type growth habit. It is most widely used to overseed bermudagrass golf courses and athletic fields to provide winter color. It is also a component of many cool-season seed mixtures that may contain Tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and/or Annual ryegrass. These mixtures are most successful when planted in shaded areas where warm-season species may struggle, particularly in the northern parts of Texas. However, like all cool-season grasses its lack of heat and drought tolerance do not make it a widely planted turfgrass in Texas.

Strengths: Fine leaf texture, dark color, tolerant of low mowing heights, and rapid establishment.

Weaknesses: Poor heat and drought tolerance

Recommended Mowing Height: Because perennial ryegrass is only used as an annual crop to overseed warm-season turfgrasses, the mowing height should be determined by the warm-season species being overseeded

Recommended Mowing Frequency: Every 3-7 days depending on height of cut using a rotary or reel mower.

 Fertilization Requirements: 1 to 2 lbs N per 1,000 ft2 per year. Single application rates should range from 0.5 to 1 lb of N per 1,000 ft2 applied during the spring and fall growing season.

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Perennial ryegrass Varieties Available in Texas
Variety Latin Name Availability
Many available Lolium perenne L. Seed