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).
L. perenne has been cultivated since at least the 17th century, and cultivars developed by plant breeders are currently amongst the most commonly sown agricultural grasses. Its distribution is stable.
European Southern-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.
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
Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 107. Lolium perenne L,
, Journal of Ecology, Volume 55, p.567-587, (1967)
Comparative Plant Ecology,
, London, (1988)
Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1965)