Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Grasses for Your Yard

Perennial Rye Grass

If you use your lawn for roughhousing and other outdoor activities, perennial rye grass (Lolium perenne) may be the answer to your prayers. A native to Europe, Northern Africa and parts of Asia, this grass is perfect for heavy soils that tend to stay wet after a rain. If you live in a temperate location that gets consistent rainfall, or you're willing to give it regular watering during dry spells, this cool season grass may be just right for you. It's a workhorse that can take some real punishment. It establishes itself quickly, is pest-resistant, and covers evenly to create a dense, dependable mat that discourages weed growth.

Some newer cultivars of perennial rye grass have attractive narrow blades that are a brilliant emerald green and can withstand mildly shady conditions. Like a number of other grasses on this list, cultivation has led to advancements in the original rye grass stock, resulting in more versatile and less demanding strains.