Lolium - Ryegrasses
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|Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne)|
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- Form: Groundcover
- Habit: Perennial
- Uses: Ornamental
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</tr> </table> Ryegrass (Lolium) is a genus of nine species of tufted Grasses in the Pooideae subfamily of the Poaceae family. Also called tares (even though there is no firm evidence that this is the same as the plant given that name in English language translations of the Bible - vetches are another candidate), these plants are native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa, but are widely cultivated and naturalized elsewhere. Ryegrasses are naturally Diploid, with 2n = 14, and are closely related to the Fescues Festuca.
Ryegrass should not be confused with Rye, which is a grain crop.
The following are accepted as distinct species:
Cultivation and uses
Ryegrasses contain some species which are important grasses for both Lawns, and as Pasture and for grazing and Hay for Livestock, being a highly nutritious stock feed. Ryegrasses are also used in Soil Erosion control programs. It is the principal grazing grass in New Zealand where some 10 million kilograms of certified seed are produced every year. There is a large range of Cultivars. The primary species found worldwide and used for both lawns and as a forage crop is Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne). Like many cool-season grasses, it is often infected by a clandestine, fungal endophyte which lives symbiotically within its leaves.
Many grass tennis courts are also made of rye grass in different compositions depending on the tournament.