Hordeum pusillum Nutt.

Little Barley


CC = 0
CW = 3
MOC = 84

© DETenaglia

Family - Poaceae/Triticeae

Stems - Flowering culms to +/-40cm tall but can be much shorter, multiple from base, erect to ascending, simple, from fibrous roots, glabrous.

Hordeum_pusillum_base.jpg Base of plant.

© DETenaglia

Leaves - Leaf blades to +/-10cm long, +/-4mm broad, glabrous to pubescent. Ligule membrenaceous, small, to +/-1.5mm long. Sheaths glabrous to pubescent, open.

Hordeum_pusillum_ligule.jpg Arrow shows ligule.

© DETenaglia

Inflorescence - Dense cylindrical spike of many spikelets, 2-8cm long, -1cm in diameter.


© DETenaglia

Flowers - Spikelets composed of two smaller sterile florets and one larger fertile floret. Fertile floret central and sterile florets lateral. Awns of lemmas to 8mm long.

Hordeum_pusillum_spikelets.jpg Spikelets.

© DETenaglia

Hordeum_pusillum_close_up.jpg Close-up of individual spikelet.

© DETenaglia

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Disturbed sites, waste ground, stream banks, pond margins, fallow fields, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This little weedy grass can be found throughout Missouri. The plant is very common and is easy to ID because of its small size and distinctive individual spikelets. As seen in the picture above, the spikelets are composed of two, small sterile florets which are lateral and slightly raised above the central, fertile floret. The fertile floret is much larger than the two sterile florets. The long awns of the lemmas are another character to help identify this grass.

Photographs taken in Van Buren, MO., 6-6-03.