darnel ryegrass


darnel ryegrass

Lolium temulentum

Scientific name

The plant stem can grow up to one meter tall, with inflorescence in the ears and purple grain. It has a global distribution.

Darnel usually grows in the same production zones as wheat and was a serious weed of cultivation until modern sorting machinery enabled darnel seeds to be separated efficiently from seed wheat. The similarity between these two plants is so great that in some regions, darnel is referred to as "false wheat". It bears a close resemblance to wheat until the ear appears. The spikes of L. temulentum are more slender than those of wheat. The spikelets are oriented edgeways to the rachis and have only a single glume, while those of wheat are oriented with the flat side to the rachis and have two glumes. The wheat will also appear brown when ripe, whereas the darnel is black.

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Image credit: H. Zell

Can you help grow this species?

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Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

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