A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
Foxtail barley is a fibrous-rooted, densely tufted grass that grows from 30–100 centimetres (12–39 in) tall and is erect or reclining at the base. The stems are erect and smooth and the leaf sheaths are split and hairy. The inflorescence of the mature plant is a dense, long-awned nodding spike with greenish or purplish colouring. The jointed rachis breaks into sharply pointed segments with three spikelets composing each segment. Only the central spikelet has one creamy coloured seed while each segment has seven awns with upward pointing barbs. These awns are up to 3 inches (7.6 cm) long and become easily attached to animals, clothing, machinery, etc. Leaf blades are slender and a greyish-green colour.
Mostly Northern North America