Seed head. Photo: Kevin Thiele, WA

Junction of leaf sheath and blade. Photo: Zoya Akulova, California, USA

Common Name

Common Foxtail; Barley Grass




Introduced annual grass 6-60cm tall.  Leaves with a hairless sheath at the base.  Ligule a membrane without a fringe of hairs.  Leaves 2-20cm long, 2-8mm wide, flat, hairy or rough with scattered short hairs, with smooth edges and a straight point.  Spikelets green, 7-16mm long, excluding the awns.  Mature seed groups cylindrical.  Seeds with one awn, in threes.

Differs from Hordeum marinum in that the junction of the leaf sheath and blade has definite lobes.  Differs from Hordeum glaucum in that the anthers of the central spikelet are 0.7-1.4mm long, pale, and extending beyond the rest of the spikelet (needs a microscope to tell).

Description and photo of seeding plant (pages 110-1) and line drawing of seed group (page 111 Fig. 22a) in G.M. Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe and J H Leigh (1981 and later printings) Plants of Western New South Wales

PlantNET description:

ausgrass2 description, photos, and line drawings: