Description. Common or English ryegrass is a perennial long-rooted herbaceous plant, that belongs to the flowers of Darnel genus from the Gramineae family of the class of annual plants. A plant very often is found as a simple weed growing along roads, in any free spaces. Ryegrass reaches 20 - 70 cm in height. Its roots are extensive, fibrous. Its distinctive feature from the other species of Darnel genus is that it has shoots of two types: generative and vegetative, while the shoots of the other species are presented only of generative type. The stems of the darnel are thin and smooth. Its leaves are narrow, not more than 4 mm wide. Leave plate on the underside is glossy, smooth and shiny. The upper side is matte, green with a gray tint. The leave can sometimes be red at the base.
When growing the common ryegrass in your own plot, you should take into account that the pollen of this plant is extremely allergenic.
Common or English ryegrass (Lolium perenne L) is widely spread in Europe, West Asia and West Africa. It is widespread everywhere in Russia, but more often it can be found in the southern regions of Western Siberia. It grows mainly in the forest-steppe zone in areas with a soft wet climate. It grows well on the wet meadows of fluvial plains with rich loamy and clay soils, in meadows of valleys, and also in dry meadows. It is a mesophyte. The plant tolerates shading well, is resistant to trampling, besides ryegrass grows very quickly and is capable for "self-repair" in the lawn.
Ryegrass is a basilar perennial plant, its height of 20-40 cm forms a large number of innovations and a highly branched root system, which densely permeates and binds the soil. It forms a strong, resilient turf. The leaves are linear, flat or lengthwise folded with a glumaceous ligule. Inflorescence is in the form of a spire, 5-20 cm long. Spikelets are located one by one, in 2 longitudinal rows. Spikelets sit on the notches of the spike rod, without pedicels, singly, pressing against the core with the rib. Spikelets are without awns, with 8-10-flowers. The stem under inflorescence is smooth. The seeds are large enough.
It has good resistance to grazing. In England it is considered to be the main plant of perennial pastures. In case of haymaking, it dies on the third or fourth year, but when used for grazing, it has a durability of 5 to 7 years.
The plant does not tolerate drought, does not tolerate long flooding, snowless winters, especially late spring frosts. It is good for this plant to have a surface irrigation, but the ryegrass does not tolerate close standing of groundwater. The soil it prefers is loose, humid, fertile loamy and clay. It does not grow on acidic soils. Due to its characteristics, common ryegrass easily tolerates trampling, rather quickly renews due to a very developed root system.
It is unpretentious in care, basically it consists only of periodic watering in hot, arid days. It is valuable for its ability to grow very quickly and evenly. It preserves the decorative appearance until the late autumn.
Flowering of ryegrass takes place from May to September, the grains are ripening since August.
Application. Ryegrass is often used for decorative purposes, as the plant has a beautiful bright juicy green color, often its seeds are found in a mixture of lawn grasses. Also, the plant is used as a fodder, for silage, hay and haylage making. It is given to animals only in a mixture with other herbs and cereals because of its original bitter taste. The norm of ryegrass sowing is 15-20 kg / ha.