This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Annual or perennial grasses, with flat leaf-blades and terminal spikes. Spikelets several-flowered, solitary, sessile and alternate in the notches of the usually continuous rachis, compressed, the edge of the spikelet (backs of the scales) turned toward the rachis. Scales rigid; lower scale empty in the lateral spikelets, and the 2 lower empty in the terminal; flowering scales rounded on the back, 5-7-nerved; palets 2-keeled. Stamens 3. Styles distinct, very short. Stigmas 2, plumose. Grain adherent to the palet. [Latin name for Darnel.]
About 6 species, natives of the Old World. Type species: Lolium perenne L.
Empty scale shorter than the spikelet.
Flowering scales awnless.
Flowering scales awned.
Empty scale equalling or extending beyond the
Lolium perenne L. Sp. PI. 83. 1753.
Smooth and glabrous, culms 6'-2 1/2º tall, erect, simple. Sheaths shorter than the internodes; ligule very short; blades 2'-s' long, 1"-2" wide; spike 3'-8' in length; spikelets 5-10-flowered, 4"-6" long, the empty scale shorter than the spikelet, strongly nerved; flowering scales 2"-3" long, obscurely nerved, acuminate.
In waste places and cultivated grounds almost throughout the northern United States and southern British America. Naturalized from Europe. Native also of Asia. Erroneously called Darnel, this name belonging to Lolium temulentum. Crap. Perennial Rye. Red Darnel. Red Dare. White Nonesuch. English Blue-grass. July-Aug.
Lolium multiflorum Lam. Fl. Franc. 3: 621. 1778. Lolium italicum A. Br. Flora 17: 259. 1834.
Culms tufted, 2°-3° tall. Sheaths usually shorter than the internodes, smooth and glabrous; blades 4'-8' long, 1 1/2"-4" wide, smooth and glabrous; spikes 8'-12' long; spikelets 20-30, the empty scale shorter than the spikelet, 7"-10" long, strongly nerved, the flowering scales bearing an awn equalling or shorter than itself.
Lolium temulentum L. Sp. PI. 83. 1753.
Glabrous. Culms 2°-4° tall, erect, simple, smooth. Sheaths overlapping or shorter than the internodes; ligule 1" long or less; blades 4-10' in length, 1"-3" wide, smooth beneath, rough above; spike 4'-12' in length; spikelets 4-8-flowered,5"-9" long, the strongly nerved empty scale equalling or extending beyond the obscurely nerved flowering scales, which are awned or awnless.
In waste places and cultivated grounds, locally naturalized or adventive from Europe, New Brunswick to Michigan, Georgia and Kansas. Abundant on the Pacific Coast. Locally a troublesome weed. Bearded Darnel. Sturdy Ryle. Tare. Drunk. Drawke. Dragge. Neale. Cheat. June-Aug.