Perennial rye-grass

Perennial Rye-grass

©Philip Precey

Perennial rye-grass

Scientific name: Lolium perenne
Perennial rye-grass is a tufted, vigorous grass of roadside verges, rough pastures and waste ground. It is commonly used in agriculture and for reseeding grasslands.

Species information


Height: up to 50cm

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Perennial rye-grass is a tough native grass that can be found on roadside verges, rough pastures and waste ground; 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 plant 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.



Did you know?

Perennial rye-grass has been used since the early 17th century as a forage crop for livestock.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time and scrub clearance are just some of the ways grasslands are kept in good condition. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.