Lolium perenne 'Manhattan'
Common Name: English ryegrass
Type: Turfgrass
Family: Poaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.25 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.25 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Insignificant

Culture

Grow in average, medium moisture soils in full sun to part shade. Perennial ryegrass is best in cool climates, and is not generally recommended for Missouri lawns. It is, however, recommended for use in mixtures as a starter that will provide early cover until the slower growing grasses in the mixture kick in.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lolium perenne, called perennial ryegrass, is a cool season, non-creeping, bunch-type grass which is primarily used as a turfgrass. Features shallow roots and glossy green leaf blades (1/8" wide) which can technically grow to 2' tall. It somewhat resembles Kentucky bluegrass in appearance. Main virtues are rapid germination time, quick coverage and traffic tolerance (good for athletic fields). Main vices are non-spreading habit and tough flower/seed stems which tend to lie down and avoid the mower. If planted alone, it usually develops into a somewhat tufted turf. When bare spots occur, they must be reseeded because the grass does not spread. In the South, perennial ryegrass is sometimes used to overseed Bermuda grass lawns so that the lawns will show some green in winter when the Bermuda goes dormant.

Genus name is the classical Latin name for a species of rye-grass.

Specific epithet means perennial.

'Manhattan' is considered to be finer and more uniform than the species.

Problems

Perennial ryegrass is susceptible to a number of fungal diseases which are particularly troublesome in hot, humid climates, including Fusarium patch, Pythium blight, Rhizoctonia blight, red thread, rust and stripe smut. This cultivar has improved resistance to these diseases over the species.

Garden Uses

Turfgrass or pasture grass. In Missouri, it is perhaps best used as a starter in lawn grass mixtures.