Page author: Don Knoke
Hordeum jubatum
foxtail barley

Distribution: Alaska south on both sides of the Cascades to California, east across Canada to the Atlantic Coast, south to Mexico.

Habitat: Common weed of dry to moist soil, from sagebrush desert to grasslands and mountain forests, often abundent in disturbed areas.

Flowers: June - August

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Tufted perennial, the culms 2-5 dm. tall, glabrous to densely soft-pubescent.


Sheaths open; auricles present on some leaves, barely 0.5 mm. long; ligules 0.2-0.6 mm. long; blades 2-4 mm. broad.


Inflorescence a terminal spike 5-10 cm. long, and at maturity almost as thick; spikelets 3 per node, 1-flowered, the central spikelet sessile, its lemma with an awn nearly as long as the glumes, ultimately divaricate; lateral spikelets with a curved pedicle 1-1.5 mm. long, the floret from rudimentary to nearly as large as the central floret; glumes awn-like, 2-6 cm. long.

Accepted Name:
Hordeum jubatum L.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Critesion jubatum (L.) Nevski
ssp. jubatum – foxtail barley
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Hordeum jubatum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Hordeum jubatum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Hordeum jubatum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Hordeum jubatum photos.

USDA Plants: Hordeum jubatum information.

13 photographs:
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