- Cool-season lawn grass
- Fast germination and seedling growth
- Used for permanent and temporary lawns
- Good cold tolerance
- Heat and drought tolerance varies by variety
- Withstands light shade
Perennial Ryegrass Basics
Perennial ryegrasses are used throughout the United States as turf grasses and as high-quality pasture grasses for livestock. Despite its agricultural uses, perennial ryegrass isn’t related the rye plant that produces cereal grain. Perennial ryegrass is related to the turf grass known as annual ryegrass, but these two plants differ, too. As the name suggests, annual ryegrass is a short-lived grass used to provide quick color, short-term erosion control or temporary stability for a single season. Turf-type perennial ryegrass is also used in those ways, but it establishes a permanent lawn that comes back year after year in proper climates.
Perennial ryegrass is a cool-season grass, meaning it peaks in growth during cool seasons, from fall through spring. Like many common turf grasses used for permanent northern lawns in the U.S., perennial ryegrass is native to Europe and Asia.1 Though it’s not as cold-hardy as Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue, perennial ryegrass flourishes where summers are moderate and winters are cool. In the cool, humid Pacific Northwest, it has become one of the region’s most widely used permanent lawn grasses, on its own and mixed with other cool-season grasses.