Weed Seed: Lolium persicum (Persian darnel)



Common Name

Persian darnel


Secondary Noxious, Class 3 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act.


Canadian: Occurs in AB, BC, MB, ON, QC and SK (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).

Worldwide: Native to temperate Asia and southern tropical Asia (USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2). In the United States, it is widespread in the upper midwest states of Montana and North Dakota (USDA-NRCS 2016Footnote 3).

Duration of life cycle


Seed or fruit type


Identification features


  • Floret length: 7.0 - 11.8 mm
  • Floret width: 1.5 - 2.8 mm
  • Floret thickness: 1.3 - 2.0 mm
  • Awn length: up to 15.0 mm


  • Floret oblong, compressed

Surface Texture

  • Floret granular


  • Floret straw-yellow

Other Features

  • Lemmas are usually unawned
  • Rachilla is flat and generally held close to the palea

Habitat and Crop Association

Cultivated fields (especially spring cereals), gardens, railway lines, roadsides and disturbed areas (Holman et al. 2004Footnote 4, Darbyshire 2003Footnote 5).

Similar species

Annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum)

  • Annual ryegrass has a similar oblong shape, straw-yellow colour and flattened rachilla as Persian darnel. It is often difficult to tell these species apart.
  • Annual ryegrass florets may curve towards the lemma, the rachilla may be held away from the palea, and the florets are usually awned.


Persian darnel (Lolium persicum) florets
Persian darnel (Lolium persicum) floret, palea view
Persian darnel (Lolium persicum) floret, lemma view
Persian darnel (Lolium persicum) the granular surface of the floret, lemma view
Persian darnel (Lolium persicum) florets

Similar species

Similar species: Annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) florets
Similar species: Annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) floret, palea view
Similar species: Annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) floret, lemma view
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