Little barley

Hordeum pusillum



Stems grow from small tufts. Leaf blades are quite flat and grow erect and straight until near maturity. There are no auricles at the junction of the leaf blade and the sheath as in other species of Hordeum. The inflorescence is a dense, bristly spike 3/4 to 2 inches long that is usually yellowish and has three spikelets at each node.

Little barley is an annual, cool-season, native - 5 to 15 inches tall.

Poor grazing for both livestock and wildlife.


This plant rapidly increases on rangeland when grasses are grazed short. The abundance of this grass is directly related to close grazing, bare ground, and moisture during fall and early winter.