Wild Barley Illustration

Wild Barley

Hordeum leporinum

Wild Barley is an annual grassy weed that is also known as Hare Barley or by its scientific name, Hordeum leporinum. This lawn weed frequently invades newly seeded yards.








Wild Barley can be identified as a short, blue-green annual grassy weed that grows in clumps. Its ligule is short, and its collar is divided by the mid-vein. Wild Barley has compressed sheaths and narrow blades that are long, tapered and rough to the touch. This lawn weed features a seed head that can range from yellow-green to purple in color and terminates into a nodding, bushy spike.

Life Cycle

Preferring moist, disturbed areas, this grassy weed can often be found growing in grasslands, crop fields, orchards, vineyards, roadsides, landscaped areas and lawns. Wild Barley grows throughout much of the eastern and western United States. These grassy weeds are also annuals, meaning they live for only one season and are typically easy to control because they lack the complex underground structures needed to spread new plant growth through creeping roots. Still, annuals produce tons of seeds that can infest and dominate your yard under the right conditions.

Life Cycle Image


Wild Barley is a frequent invader of lawns and landscaped areas—especially when they're newly seeded. This grassy weed can be difficult to manage strictly using cultural weed control methods such as hand-pulling lawn weeds and proper watering and mowing. For effective weed removal, professionally selected and applied herbicides are your best bet for eradication.


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