Lolium temulentum L.

Sp.Pl. 1:83 (1753)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Annual, grass-like or herb, 0.2-1 m high. Fl. green, Oct to Dec.

Amanda Spooner, Descriptive Catalogue, 5 September 1997


IBRA Regions
Avon Wheatbelt, Esperance Plains, Geraldton Sandplains, Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.
IBRA Subregions
Geraldton Hills, Katanning, Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Recherche, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren.
IMCRA Regions
Abrolhos Islands.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Augusta Margaret River, Busselton, Canning, Capel, Esperance, Greater Geraldton, Irwin, Manjimup, Murray, Nedlands, Perth, South Perth, Wongan-Ballidu, York.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. Bearded darnel, darnel lolium, poison darnel, poison ryegrass.

General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Annual, caespitose. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Water, wind, agriculture. Photosynthetic Pathway. C3. Toxicity. Seeds are susceptible to a fungal infection which can have toxic effects.

Notes. Tolerant of frost. Prefers light sand, medium loam or heavy clay soils. These may be acidic, neutral or alkaline. Intolerant of shade and requires moist soil. Has a short life cycle (2–3 months). Flowers are self-fertile and hermaphroditic (have both male and female parts). Water stress can inhibit flowering. There are both awned and awnless varieties.

Additional information. Origin. Europe, Mediterranean. History of use/introduction. Weed of wheat and barley crops. Similar exotic species. Lolium perenne.

Suggested method of management and control. Prevent seed set. Spray with Fusilade® Forte at 16 ml/10 L + wetting agent or for generic fluazifop-p (212g/L active ingredient) 10ml/10L+ wetting agent before stem elongation. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Active Growth           Y Y Y Y Y Y    
Germination           Y Y            
Flowering Y               Y Y Y Y  
Fruiting Y                   Y Y  
Manual Removal Y           Y Y Y Y Y Y  
Herbicide Treatment             Y Y Y O      

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



  • Anon. (2008) Plants for a future database - Lolium temulentum - L. , England and Wales. URL: - Accessed January 2010.
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  • King, R.W. & Evans, L.T. (1977) Inhibition of flowering in Lolium temulentum L. by water stress: a role for abscisic acid. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology, 4: 225-233.
  • Moore, C.B. & Moore, J.H. (2002) Herbiguide, the pesticide expert on a disk. Herbiguide, PO Box 44 Albany, Western Australia, 6330.
  • Senda, T. & Tominaga, T. (2004) Genetic diversity of Darnel (Lolium temulentum L.) in Malo, Ethiopia depends on traditional farming systems. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 53 (3): 449-451.
  • Tohrui, T. & Takeshi, F. (2004) Awn of darnel (Lolium temulentum L.) as an anthropogenic dispersal organ: A case study in Malo, south-western Ethiopia. Weed Biology and Managemen, 4 (4): 218-221.