Perennial Rye-grass

Lolium perenne

  1. Wildlife
  2. Grasses
  3. Perennial Rye-grass


Perennial Rye-grass is a tough native grass that can be found on roadside verges, rough pastures and waste grounds; it was once the most commonly sown grass in leys (fields used for grazing livestock) and is now often used for reseeding grasslands. It flowers from May through summer and can vary from being an annual to being very persistent year after year.

How to identify

Perennial Rye-grass has green stems and narrow, blade-like leaves. The spikelets, which hold the flowers, are attached to the stem in an alternating pattern. Perennial Rye-grass grows in clumps and has fibrous roots.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Perennial Rye-grass is a vigorous grass which can outcompete other more delicate plants in grasslands. For this reason, it is considered a problem in species-rich grasslands, yet it is an important agricultural grass. The Wildlife Trusts look after many grassland habitats using traditional methods, such as hay-cutting, reseeding and grazing, for the benefit of local wildlife. We are also working closely with farmers and landowners to promote wildlife-friendly practices in these areas. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.

Species information

Common name
Perennial Rye-grass
Latin name
Lolium perenne
Height: up to 50cm
Conservation status