Lolium pratense (Huds.) S.J. Darbyshire
Family: Poaceae
Lolium pratense image
Max Licher  
FNA 2007, Gould 1980
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Non-Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Tufted perennial with stems to 1.3 m, auricles glabrous, falcate and clasping, wavy along edges, sheath open. Vegetative: Blades folded or convolute in young shoots, 10-25 cm long, 2-7 mm wide, flat, ligules a minute membranous collar. Inflorescence: Panicle 10-25 cm with branches at lowest node 1 or 2, shorter branch with 1-2 spikelets, longer branches with 2-6 spikelets; spikelets 12-15.5 mm long, 2-5 mm wide with 4-10 florets; disarticulation above the glumes, glumes unequal, lower 2.5-4.5 mm, upper 3-5 mm; lemmas 5-8 mm, smooth, apices unawned, sometimes mucronate. Ecology: Found in open meadows and disturbed areas from 4,000-8,000 ft (1219-2438 m); flowers April-August. Distribution: Introduced throughout N. Amer. found in every state in the US; south to c MEX; also in S. Amer. and Europe. Notes: Distinguished by being a robust perennial bunchgrass with pronounced, glabrous auricles (top section of leaf sheath wrapping around the culm), where they are ciliate in F. arundinaceus; flat, wide leaves; a semi-open panicle of spikelets with multiple florets, possessing smooth lemmas. This taxa remains unresolved between Lolium pratense, F. pratensis, and Schedonorus pratensis. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Schedonorus is from Greek schedon, for near or nearby and nardos for spikenard, while pratensis means growing in meadows. Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015
Tufted, but often with basally decumbent culms; old sheaths brown, decaying to fibers, culms erect above a geniculate base, 3-12 dm, glabrous; sheaths smooth; blades lax, not evidently ridge-veined, glabrous or scabrous, 3-5(-7) mm wide, dilated at base into conspicuous smooth auricles; infl 1-2.5 dm, erect or nodding at the tip, contracted at least after anthesis, the internodes of the branches less than twice as long as the spikelets; spikelets 10-15 mm, 4-10-fld; first glume subulate, 2.5-4 mm, 1-veined, the second lanceolate, 3.5-5 mm, 3-5-veined, with hyaline margins; larger lemmas 5.5-7 mm, usually glabrous, 5-veined, the tip hyaline, acute, rarely with a short awn to 2 mm; rachilla-joints glossy, smooth or very nearly so; anthers 2-4 mm; 2n mostly = 14. Native of Europe, cult. for forage and established in fields, meadows, and moist soil throughout most of the U.S. and adj. Can. (Schedonorus p.)

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

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