E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Hordeum murinum L.
wall barley (charming barley (ssp. leporinum); mouse barley; mouse barley (ssp. murinum); seagreen barley (ssp. glaucum))
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #20659)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Hordeum murinum
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Species Information

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Annual grass from fibrous roots; stems smooth, 20-40 (50) cm tall.
Sheaths open, smooth; blades usually sparsely stiff-hairy to soft-hairy, mostly 3-4 (5) mm wide; ear-shaped lobes well-developed at most leaf-bases, 1-2 mm long; ligules scarcely 1 mm long.
Inflorescence a spike, 4-7 cm long, well exserted to partially enclosed by the inflated upper sheath, the rachis disarticulating, the segments 1.7-3 mm long; spikelets 3 to a node, all well-developed, the lateral ones short-stalked; glumes of the central spikelets 2-3 cm long, stalked or unstalked, long stiff-hairy basally, central florets slightly shorter to much shorter than the lateral florets; the rachillas prolonged past the florets for 2.5-3.5 mm, bristlelike; anthers 0.4-1.3 mm long.
Three subspecies occur in BC:

1. Central spikelet florets unstalked or nearly unstalked, the stalk if present less than 0.5 mm long; inner glumes of the lateral spikelets narrower than either glume of the central spikelets..................... ssp. Murinum

1. Central spikelet florets stalked, the stalks 1-2 mm long; inner glumes of the lateral spikelets as wide as those of the central spikelets.

2. Central florets slightly shorter than the lateral florets; anthers 0.5 mm long or less.................... ssp. glaucum (Steud.) Tzvelev

2. Central florets much shorter than the lateral florets; anthers 0.8-1.3 mm long.................... ssp. leporinum (Link) Asch. & Grabn.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry roadsides and waste areas in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; rare to infrequent in SW BC (all ssp.) and SC BC (ssp. murinum); introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References