FOXTAIL BARLEY
File Size: 105 KB
 
Hordeum jubatum  L.
Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 8-30 inches
Family: Poaceae - Grass Family
Flowering Period:   June, July, August
Culms: Erect or bent abruptly upward at bases, slender, hollow, glabrous, nodes dark.
Blades: Flat, 1 to 5 inches long, to 1/4 inch wide, rough, tapered to sharp points.
Sheaths: Loose, shorter than internodes, glabrous or lightly hairy.
Ligules: Membranous, irregularly notched.
Inflorescences: Spikes, conspicuously nodding, 2 to 5 inches long, about as wide, soft, greenish or purplish.
Spikelets: 3 per node; central spikelet 1-flowered, fertile, sessile; lateral spikelets sterile, short-stalked; glumes awn-like, 1 to 2.75 inch long; lemmas to 1/3 inch long; central spikelet lemmas with awns 1 to 2.5 inches long; lateral spikelet lemmas short-awned.
Habitat: Ditches, pastures, seep areas, waste ground, and roadsides.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Forage Value: Foxtail barley is palatable when young but is poor forage for livestock.
Uses: Native American children sometimes placed inflorescences of foxtail barley in the clothing of playmates as a joke.
Comments: Tufted. The awns can cause mouth, throat, nose, and eye injuries to grazing animals and can contaminate wool. The pollen of foxtail barley causes allergies.

Foxtail barley
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Mitchell County, Kansas
Foxtail barley
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Riley County, Kansas