|An ancient staple food of common folk and their livestock, Barley still nourishes body and soul in winter soups and stews, and remains essential to the beer brewer's craft. Gardeners choose ornamental species with fine silky flowerheads. Plant on a slope where late or early sun will backlight the glistening sprays. Dried stalks add a rustic touch to floral arrangements, and take dye well. Hordeum jubatum, dubbed Squirreltail or Foxtail Barley, bears long, straight awns with a soft reddish tinge. Need full sun and a loose, well-drained soil. Sow seed in spring or autumn. Tolerates heat and drought better than other cereal grains. Pick heads while still green and hang them upside down to dry in airy shade.
Arguably the most attractive ornamental grass, it is effective in borders and superb when dried for use in long-lasting flower arrangements. The full, graceful plants with 3-inch-long feathery flower spikes can be grown as an annual. Tolerates poor soil, heat, and wind.
Attributes - Hordeum jabatum
Plant Type: Grass
Bloom Season: Early Summer through Late Summer
Flower Color: Purple
Height: 1 ft. to 2 ft. 6 in.
Width: 2 ft.
Sunlight: Full Sun
Climate: Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Notes: Thrives in Hot Climates. Container Plants, Showy Flowers.