Typical plant growing in disturbed site. Photo by S. Donaldson.
Wild barley, foxtail, farmer’s foxtail, mouse barley.
Flat and narrow (0.1 to 0.3 inches wide), smooth or hairy with well‐developed auricles (protrusions) that clasp the stem. Leaves may be up to 8 inches long.
Produces round stems that grow in an upright or broad form, spreading from the base of the plant.
Grows a bristly, thick spike 1 to 3 inches long, with 1/4‐ to 1‐inch‐long awns (bristles), in spring. The spike looks like a fox’s tail. Blooms from spring to early summer.
Once the spikes have dried out, forms barbed seeds often referred to as "foxtails." Seeds stick to the fur of animals, human clothing, etc.
Eurasia; naturalized to the western United States
Cultivated land, roadsides, landscaped areas, turf, vacant lots, in pavement cracks and other disturbed or unmanaged sites. Often grows in wet and salty areas.
Cool‐season annual (grows in cooler spring weather)
Reproduces by seed.
Control hare barley prior to seed formation. As this occurs in early spring, careful monitoring is needed to stop the spread of this weed.
Dig, hoe or pull young seedlings. Use mechanical control methods prior to formation of spikes. Mowing encourages plants to grow close to the ground and does not control them.
Thick mulches can help prevent seed germination. Plant desirable vegetation that will shade the area and reduce germination and growth of young plants.
None. Grazing can result in an increase in the amount of foxtail barley in a pasture, and the seeds can injure animals.
Apply grass‐selective herbicides on young plants. Pre‐emergence herbicides can be used to manage existing seed banks.
Calflora Taxon Report 4227, http://www.calflora.org/cgi‐bin/species_query.cgi?where‐calrecnum=4227.
DiTomaso, J.M. and E.A. Healy. 2007. Weeds of California and Other Western States. University of California Publication 3488.
Halvorson, W.L. and Guertin, P. 2003. Fact Sheet for Hordeum L. species. USGS Weeds in the West Project, http://sdrsnet.srnr.arizona.edu/data/sdrs/ww/docs/hord_spp.pdf.
UC IPM. No date. Hare Barley, http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/WEEDS/hare_barley.html.
Whitson, Tom D. (editor). 2002. Weeds of the West. University of Wyoming, Jackson, Wyoming.
Weed Warriors Invasive Weed Training
The Weed Warriors program tackles the growing problem of weeds on public and private land.
Donaldson, S., Hanson Mazet, W., 2010, A Northern Nevada Homeowner’s Guide to Identifying and Managing Hare Barley, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno FS-10-26
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