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Hordeum jubatum (Foxtail Barley)

Foxtail Barley, Fox Squirrel Tail, Wild Barley

Hordeum Jubatum, Foxtail Barley, Fox Squirrel Tail, Wild Barley, Ornamental Grass, Ornamental Grasses, Grasses, decorative Grasses, Perennial Grasses
Hordeum Jubatum, Foxtail Barley, Fox Squirrel Tail, Wild Barley, Ornamental Grass, Ornamental Grasses, Grasses, decorative Grasses, Perennial Grasses

A very showy and attractive Ornamental Grass, Hordeum jubatum, commonly known as Foxtail Barley, features clumps of arching leaves, with distinctive feathery flower spikes that are green flushed with pale pink or purple and fade to light tan as they mature. Bending downward as if nodding off to sleep, these long silky tufted flowers resemble the tails of red foxes. They are on display from late spring until midsummer and last well in fresh or dried arrangements.

  • Native to North America, Foxtail Barley is a short-lived, cool-season perennial grass that is easy to grow and requires very little care.
  • Growing easily in dense bunches about 2 ft. tall (60 cm) and spreading 6-9 in. (15-22 cm), it thrives in full sun, in moist to dry, well-drained soils. Not fussy about soils, Foxtail Barley can also adapt to a wide range of moisture regimes from dry to wet. Although this species is generally found on moist sites, it can withstand drought-like conditions.
  • Glistening in the sun, this grass mixes beautifully with almost any flowering bulbs or perennials to create spectacular and elegantly mobile combinations. Mix the airy puffs of Foxtail Barley with the dark-leaved Dahlia ‘Moonfire’ and Feathertop Grass (Pennisetum villosum) to create a richly textured fall show.
  • This is a graceful plant for beds or borders, and rock gardens, and it looks stunning in mass plantings. This is also an excellent choice for naturalized meadows thanks to its ability to self-sow. Once installed, it is however difficult to eradicate.
  • Often found in pastures, roadsides, meadows, alkaline/saline areas, moist soils, and disturbed areas, Hordeum jubatum is considered a weed in several states and countries. Beautiful as it is, this decorative grass is unpopular with ranchers because it has sharply-barbed awns that can cause sores at the nose, eyes, and mouth of livestock.

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 10
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Poaceae
Common names Wild Barley, Foxtail Barley
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 6" - 9"
(15cm - 23cm)
Spacing 9" - 12"
(23cm - 30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Northeast, Alaska, California, Midwest, Ohio, South Dakota, Indiana, Illinois, North Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Montana
Tolerance Drought, Salt
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Prairie and Meadow
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Recommended Companion Plants

Dahlia ‘Moonfire’
Rudbeckia hirta ‘Marmalade’ (Black-Eyed Susan)
Anthemis tinctoria (Golden Marguerite)
Sedum (Stonecrop)
Eryngium planum (Flat Sea Holly)
Monarda (Bee Balm)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 10
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Poaceae
Common names Wild Barley, Foxtail Barley
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 6" - 9"
(15cm - 23cm)
Spacing 9" - 12"
(23cm - 30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Northeast, Alaska, California, Midwest, Ohio, South Dakota, Indiana, Illinois, North Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Montana
Tolerance Drought, Salt
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?

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