Lolium perenne

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPoaceaeLoliumLolium perenne


L. perenne is predominantly a species of improved lowland pasture, leys, and hay meadows, but is found widely in other habitats, including downland, rush-pasture, inundated grasslands, amenity grassland and road verges; also in open ruderal habitats. It favours fertile, heavy, neutral soils, but is also found on those which are mildly acidic or basic. 0-570 m (Alston Moor, Cumberland).



World Distribution

European Southern-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1096

Life form information

Height (cm): 50

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Tussock-forming graminoid, may slowly spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2743

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 964

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: -0.29

Weighted Changed Factor: -11

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (375d)
Beddows AR
1967.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 107. Lolium perenne L. Journal of Ecology. 55:567-587.
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.