Skip to main content Accessibility help

Leaf development in eight related grasses

  • Y. Gao (a1) and D. Wilman (a1)


Leaf development was studied in eight related grasses, grown in field swards cut at 5-week intervals, during the year of sowing and the subsequent year (1989 and 1990). The rate of leaf expansion was in the order Westerwolds ryegrass > Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), Italian ryegrass × meadow fescue > hybrid ryegrass > perennial ryegrass × meadow fescue, meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis), tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne). The order of grasses was similar, but not identical, for rate of leaf appearance, rate of leaf extension, weight of leaf blade emerging per shoot per week and rate of increase in length of exposed leaf sheath, and the order was approximately the reverse for weight per unit area of emerging leaf blade. The area per leaf blade increased greatly between May and October of the year of sowing, particularly in Westerwolds, Italian and hybrid ryegrasses and Italian ryegrass × meadow fescue. Area per leaf blade in tall fescue increased greatly between May and July of the year of sowing and May–July of the subsequent year. Rate of leaf expansion in meadow fescue was much higher in May of the year after sowing than in the previous May.



Hide All
Davies, A., Evans, M. E. & Pollock, C. J. (1989). Influence of date of tiller origin on leaf extension rates in perennial and Italian ryegrass at 15 °C in relation to flowering propensity and carbohydrate status. Annals of Botany 63, 377384.
Emoto, T. (1989). Taxonomic studies on Festuca and Lolium based on isozyme variation. Bulletin of The Akita Prefectural College of Agriculture, No. 15, pp. 75109.
Gao, Y. (1992). A comparison of eight related grasses in respect of growth and morphology, with particular reference to establishment and persistence. PhD thesis, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Kemp, C. D. (1960). Methods of estimating the leaf area of grasses from linear measurements. Annals of Botany New Series 24, 491499.
Patel, A. S. & Cooper, J. P. (1961). The influence of seasonal changes in light energy on leaf and tiller development in ryegrass, timothy and meadow fescue. Journal of the British Grassland Society 16, 299308.
Peacock, J. M. (1976). Temperature and leaf growth in four grass species. Journal of Applied Ecology 13, 225232.
Ryle, G. J. A. (1964). A comparison of leaf and tiller growth in seven perennial grasses as influenced by nitrogen and temperature. Journal of the British Grassland Society 19, 281290.
Stebbins, G. L. (1956). Taxonomy and the evolution of genera, with special reference to the family Gramineae. Evolution 10, 235245.
Thomas, H. & Humphreys, M. O. (1991). Progress and potential of interspecific hybrids of Lolium and Festuca. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 117, 18.
Wilman, D. & Mohamed, A. A. (1980). Early spring and late autumn response to applied nitrogen in four grasses. 2. Leaf development. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 94, 443453.
Wilman, D. & Mohamed, A. A. (1981). Response to nitrogen application and interval between harvests in five grasses. 2. Leaf development. Fertilizer Research 2, 320.
Wilman, D., Droushiotis, D., Mzamane, M. N. & Shim, J. S. (1977). The effect of interval between harvests and nitrogen application on initiation, emergence and longevity of leaves, longevity of tillers and dimensions and weights of leaves and ‘stems’ in Lolium. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 89, 6579.
Wilman, D., Gao, Y. & Michaud, P. J. (1994). Morphology and position of the shoot apex in some temperate grasses. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 122, 375383.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed