4. Lolium multiflorum Lamarck, Fl. Franç. 3: 621. 1779 [“1778”].
多花黑麦草 duo hua hei mai cao
Annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial. Culms tufted, erect or decumbent at base, 0.5–1.3 m tall, 4–5-noded. Leaf blades flat, 10–20 cm × 3–8 mm, glabrous, adaxial surface scabrid, young blades rolled; auricles usually present, 1–4 mm; ligule up to 4 mm. Raceme erect or nodding, 10–30 cm; rachis scabridulous, spikelets overlapping or up to their own length apart. Spikelets 0.8–3 cm, florets 8–22; glume lanceolate, much shorter than spikelet, scarcely exceeding lowest floret, 5–7-veined, margin narrowly membranous, apex obtuse, acute or slightly erose; lemmas oblong-lanceolate, 5–8 mm, 5-veined, apex acute, obtuse or erose; awn up to 5(–15) mm, fine, straight, or upper lemmas awnless; palea equal to lemma, ciliolate along keels. Caryopsis length 3 times width. Fl. and fr. Jul–Aug. 2n = 14.
Grasslands, introduced. Anhui, Fujian, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Nei Mongol, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Yunnan [N Africa, SW Asia, C and S Europe].
This species is widely grown in temperate regions of the world for pasture and forage (Italian Rye Grass).
Lolium multiflorum hybridizes with Festuca pratensis to form the hybrid ×Festulolium braunii (K. Richter) A. Camus. Lolium grandispi-cum Y. J. Fei (Guihaia 19: 205. 1999), described from Hubei (Jingzhou) is probably based on a specimen of this hybrid. The type (Y. J. Fei 98088, HBAC) has not been seen.