Perennial ryegrass is used as turf grasses and as a high quality pasture grass for livestock. Perennial ryegrass is not related to the rye plant that produces cereal grain, however, is related to the turf grass known as annual ryegrass. Perennial ryegrass is a cool season grass, peak growth is during cool seasons, from fall through to spring.
When perennial ryegrass is given the correct conditions it will germinate faster than any other common lawn grass seed, however, once established it will spread slowly. It naturally grows in clumps and spreads vertical shoots known as tillers, compared to spreading by rhizomes or horizontal above ground stems, known as stolons. Traditional perennial ryegrass varieties have shallow roots which limits their tolerance for heat and drought. This turf adapts well to a wide variety of soil types to both acidic and alkaline soils. Soil pH in a range of 5.5 to 7.5 typically supports the best perennial ryegrass growth.
Perennial ryegrass is a tough native grass that can be found on roadside verges, pastures and waste grounds. It flowers from May through the summer and can vary from being an annual to being persistent year after year.