The tolerance of 5 perennial grasses during the seedling stage to pre- and post-emergent grass herbicides was examined in 3 glasshouse experiments. The perennial grass species screened were phalaris, (Phalaris aquatica L.), cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.), wallaby grass [Austrodanthonia richardsonii (Cashm.) H.P. Linder], perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) were included as non-target species and annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaudin) and oats (Avena spp.) as representatives of typical weed species. Herbicides evaluated were fluazifop-p, tralkoxydim, diclofop-methyl, fenoxaprop-p-ethyl, fenoxaprop-p-ethyl + pyrazoline, sethoxydim, flamprop-m-methyl, quizalofop-p-ethyl, clethodim, simazine, imazethapyr, propyzamide, carbetamide, clodinafop-propargyl + cloquintocet-mexyl, propaquizafop, atrazine, trifluralin, triallate, pendimethalin, metribuzin, trifluralin + oryzalin, cyanazine, chlorsulfuron and triasulfuron. Herbicide phytotoxicity was assessed 15 and 30 days after post-emergent herbicide application using the European Weed Research Committee (EWRC) visual score of leaf damage (1 indicating no effect, 9 indicating all plants dead) and plant herbage yield depression relative to the unsprayed control. Plant responses to pre-emergent herbicides were assessed 45 days after sowing. Most herbicides were highly phytotoxic (EWRC score 4'9) to the perennial grass seedlings. However, atrazine, flamprop-m-methyl, imazethapyr, fenoxaprop-ethyl, and triallate caused less severe phytotoxicity (EWRC score 1'4) in phalaris, fescue, cocksfoot and perennial ryegrass from which they could be expected to recover, with yield reductions of between 0 and 45%, 30 days after spraying. Simazine caused yield losses of 20'50% in fescue, phalaris and perennial ryegrass which may be acceptable in swards with high weed burdens.Wallaby grass showed tolerance to flamprop-m-methyl, carbetamide, propyzamide and imazethapyr. Subterranean clover was tolerant of most herbicides with yield losses less than 20% except for the post-emergent herbicides simazine and atrazine, and the pre-emergent herbicides triasulfuron, metribuzin, cyanazine and chlorsulfuron where yield suppression was between 50 and 99%.