Scientific NameHordeum vulgare
Synonyms (former Scientific Names):
Hordeum vulgare ssp. hexastichon
Hordeum vulgare var. trifurcatum
Barley is an upright, winter annual that can reach up to 4 feet tall.
Leaves for common barley are flat, oftentimes hairless, and tend to curl in a clockwise. They are thin, usually less than half an inch thick. Ligules are membranous and around a tenth of an inch tall. Barley also has large clasping auricles.
Barley is recognizable for it's large membranous ligule in relation to its size, long, clasping auricles, and the clockwise twist in the leaf blades.
Flower Seed Head
Barley seed heads are an erect spike which can have awns. The spike is approximately 1-3 inches tall, not including the awns. Barley will either have 4 or 6 rows of seeds on the inflorescence.
Barley grains are a caryopsis, a single dry grain, that is tan in color.
Barley is cultivated for grain but it can also be a weed in fields and on roadsides and other noncrop land.
Leaf Hair on Upper Surface
hairs on basal half only
rolled in bud
Mature Leaf Width
less than 5 mm,
6 to 15 mm
flat or oval