Annual or Italian Ryegrass: Lolium multiflorum
|Weed Description: A winter
annual that may reach 3 ft in height with conspicuous auricles and a distinctive seedhead.
Found throughout the United States, primarily as a weed of small grains.
Stems: Leaf sheaths are often tinged red at the base.
|Leaves: Rolled in the bud with conspicuous claw-like auricles in the collar region. Leaf blades are 2 1/2 to 8 inches long, 4-10 mm wide when mature, and have a membranous ligule. Leaves usually have a glossy appearance on the lower surfaces.|
Flowers: The seedhead is a spike (4-16 inches long) with spikelets that have long awns arranged alternately up the stem.
|Identifying Characteristics: The auricles that occur in the collar regions distinguishes this grass from other similar weeds, as relatively few grass weeds have this feature. Additionally, the red-tinged base of annual ryegrass helps to distinguish this weed from perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), which is very similar in growth habit and appearance.|