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Lolium has been clasically restricted to species with simple inflorescences, even though it was known that some hybridized with certain species traditionally placed in Festuca. These former fescues, placed in the genus Schedonorus in Flora of North America and the Field Manual of Michigan Flora, are here included as part of an expanded definition of Lolium (Darbyshire, 1993).


1. Inflorescence branched; glumes 2 in all spikelets.

2. Awn of the lemmas much longer than the bodies.

L. giganteum

2. Awn of the lemmas absent or much shorter than the bodies.

3. Auricles at summit of leaf sheath ciliate; larger lemmas 7–8.5 mm long; branches of panicle mostly 2 at each node, both with several spikelets.

L. arundinaceum

3. Auricles glabrous; larger lemmas 5.5–7 mm long (very rarely some to 8 mm); branches of panicle mostly 1 at each node, or the second, if present, bearing usually only one spikelet.

L. pratense

1. Inflorescence a simple spike, very rarely with a branch; glumes 1 (except on the terminal spikelet, which has 2).

4. Glume distinctly shorter than spikelet.

L. perenne

4. Glume about equaling or slightly exceeding spikelet (excluding awns).

L. temulentum

All species found in Lolium

Lolium arundinaceumTALL FESCUE 
Lolium giganteumGIGANTIC FESCUE 
Lolium perenneRYEGRASS 
Lolium pratenseMEADOW FESCUE 
Lolium temulentumDARNEL 


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. September 27, 2022. https://michiganflora.net/genus.aspx?id=Lolium.