Common Barley, Hordeum vulgare
Poaceae or Grass Family


A coarse grass, about two to three feet tall, with thick stalks and long leaves, somewhat bluish green. Grains are fat, vasse shaped, and tipped with a long hair ("awn"). Blooms in summer.

An alien plant originally from the Near East. Frequently grown for hay, and thus often appearing where hay has been used as mulch, as in gardens and construction sites. Apparently introduced into Wildwood at the South Meadow by construction. This is the barley of "Oats and beans and barley grow..." Domesticated in the Near East and Egypt around 11,000 years ago, it is still grown as fodder for animals and grain for humans. It is the 4th most commonly cultivated grain.

A fairly easy grass to identify based on its coarseness, large, thick grains in dense inflorescences, and long awns.


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