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, 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.