Annual Rye Grass Varieties

Annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), also known as Italian ryegrass, is available in several cultivars. Annual ryegrass is a clumping grass and may be used to overseed other grasses when bald patches appear. Annual ryegrass seeds do not have to be sown; simply sprinkle in the area you want grass and they will grow. Annual ryegrass may be perennial in mild climates, and is hardy in United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 6 and above. Annual ryegrasses should be planted in full sun and require regular water.

Graze n Gro

Graze n Gro, developed at the University of Florida, was introduced to the marketplace in 2000. Highly resistant to crown rust, this cultivar matures late. Graze n Gro is among the more cold-tolerant annual ryegrasses and can be planted in cooler-winter climates, including North Georgia or Central Texas.


Texas A&M University developed Gulf annual ryegrass, the first of the crown rust-resistant cultivars. This cultivar matures early, but has a low resistance to cold, and should be only in mild-winter climates such as Florida and Alabama. Gulf is a common and easily found annual ryegrass cultivar.


Among the earliest annual ryegrass cultivars, Magnolia is crown rust resistant. Developed at Mississippi State University, this cultivar matures later than Gulf but has a higher resistance to cold. Use it in cooler-winter climates, including North Georgia.

Tam 90

This cultivar is among the most hardy of annual ryegrasses and may be planted successfully as far north as Dallas, Texas or Southern Arkansas. It also thrives in Hawaii. Resistant to crown rust, Tam 90 was developed by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and a cross between three older cultivars-Gulf, Marshall and TX-R-78-2.

Keywords: annual ryegrass, winter grass, overseeding, clumping grass

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J.D. Chi is a professional journalist who has covered sports for more than 20 years at newspapers all over the United States. She has covered major golf tournaments and the NFL as well as travel and health topics. Chi received her Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University and is working toward a master's degree in journalism.