Annual or biennial grass of medium size (50-100 cm), tufted, erect, forming large tufts that are deep green and glossy. Leaves have folded vernation and embracing auricles have a broad and flexible limb. The stem base is red. The inflorescences are ears carrying the sessile and bristled spikelets, singly. The grains are coated in lemma for a TKW of 2.2 G. This is a cross-pollinating species.
Italian ryegrass has a large number of ecotypes, varying in development speed and life cycle (annual or bi-annual). The production of new varieties is particularly simple in spite of a strong auto-sterility.
Common diploid (2n = 14), there are some tetraploid forms whose forage production is the same, although a higher yield and a lower production of grains were observed for tetraploid forms 1).
|In %||Water||Nitrogen||Fat||Soluble carbohydrates||Fibrous carbohydrates||Ashes|
However, it is vigorous enough to suffocate other species (timothy, meadow fescue, etc). Its soil and climatic requirements (rich, cool, relatively moist soil and a temperate climate) does not allow it to survive in case of frost, overly dry summers or floods.
Italian ryegrass is capable of growing at an altitude of 1.000 to 1.500 meters.
|In rows||From first autumn rains||40-60 cm||2-3 cm||15-25 kg/ha (even 25-35 broadcasting or in association|
|In q/ha||In green||In hay||In grain|
- Fast and easy rooting
- Early start at the end of winter
- Very fast production
- Very good growth in the spring
- Non-alternative types produce leafy growths the first year
- This species is ideal for the establishment of a silage inventory
- Important ear booting
- Low to very low durability (for alternative types)
1) HERTZSCH W. (1962). Beobachtungen und Erfahrungen Bei Züchtungsarbeiten mit tetraploiden Futterleguminosen. Zits. für Pflanzenzüchtung, Berlin-Hamburg, vol. 48, 3, 230-258.