Throughout NZ, perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) is the grass of choice for permanent pastures. It establishes rapidly, yields well, tolerates a range of management practices and has a high nutritive value. It is also compatible with white clover offering an excellent all-round pasture for all grazing systems.
Perennial ryegrass cultivars differ in total yield, seasonal growth, and heading date and are available with different endophyte options. Endophytes are fungi that can assist plant survival.
Ryegrass is naturally a diploid plant, meaning it has two sets of chromosomes. Some cultivars are tetraploids, artificially developed by plant breeders to have four sets of chromosomes. Tetraploids have fewer, larger tillers, and are more palatable but less robust.
Heading dates of perennial ryegrass cultivars