Scientific Name: Hordeum jubatum

Common Name: foxtail barley

Habit: This grass can be an annual or perennial depending on environment. It grows in an ascending fashion up to 31.5 inches. This plant is very coarse on both the plant and the seedhead, which can cause animal injury. The seedlings are typically skinny and tall.

Leaves: The leaf can be hairy on both the top or bottom, and is sandpaper-like. They can be 1 to 9 in long and 2 to 5 mm in width. They have a bluish green color as well.

Identifying Characteristics: It is recognized due to its foxtail-like seedhead. These seedheads can cause injury to animals that are grazing or moving through patches of this grass. The leaves and sheaths are hairy and it has a medium size membranous ligule.

Flower Seed Head: It is a foxtail-like spike that have awns (long hair like structures) that can cause serious discomfort to grazing animals. The seedhead can be 2 to 8 in long with awns that range from 1 1/2 to 3 in long.

Seed Fruit: The seed is 5 to 8 mm long with a long awn 1 1/2 to 3 cm in length

Where Found: Can be found in most of the United States including Alaska, and also in Canada. This includes in different field and pasture settings, and also on roadsides and waste areas

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: not present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rolled in bud

  • Hair surface: hairs from base to tip; no hairs

  • Ligule: membrane

  • Length: 1-2 mm; less than 1 mm

  • Seed head: spike

  • Width: less than 5 mm

  • Grass stem: round