Hordeum brachyantherum (Meadow barley)

Cool season, tufted, perennial bunchgrass is moderately alkaline and saline tolerant, and broadly adapted to various soils types. Best adapted to moist sites and tolerant of periods of shallow standing water, but is also summer-drought tolerant. Typically medium-lived but short-lived on drier sites. Excellent seedling vigor and quick growth. Important species to riparian areas, wetlands, meadows, forest openings, salt marshes and ocean beaches from sea level up to 11,000 ft. elevation. Rarely dominates, eventually yielding to longer-lived, more persistent species. Useful as a quick cover and nurse crop in habitat restoration mixes. Palatable to herbivores in the spring and can be used in dryland pasture at high elevations. Varieties listed below.


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Family: Poaceae

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Graminoid

Native Status: Native

Season: Cool

Growth Form: Bunchgrass

Mature Height: 24-39 in.

Annual Precipitation: 20-80 in.

Drought Tolerance: Medium

Shade Tolerance: Intolerant

Elevation: up to 11,000 ft.

Wetland Indicator Status: FACW

Fire Resistance: No  

Fire Tolerance: High


Coarse Texture: Yes

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: Yes

Salinity Tolerance: Medium

CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium

pH Range: 6.0-8.5


Seeds per Pound: 30,000-100,000

Seeding Rate: 8-40 PLS lbs/acre

Season: Spring/Fall

Days to Germination:


Jackson-Frazier - Source Identified selection from the Jackson-Frazier Wetland nature preserve in Benton County, OR which receives an average of 43 in. annual precipitation. Taller (24-54 in.) than typical descriptions of the species (15-40 in.). Good seedling vigor and genetic diversity. May exhibit disease resistance to head smut and ergot. (Released 2008)