Meadow Barley - Hordeum secalinum


    Slender erect plant 30 to 60 cm high with narrow (to 5 mm) flat roughish leaves. The flower spikes are slender 2.5 to 5 cm long sometimes flushed purple. The glumes are bristle like and rough, but shorter than in Wall Barley.

    Similar Species

    Wall Barley (Hordeum murinum) and other Hordeum, including some rarely recorded alien species. 

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Perennial (i.e. tillers present when flowering), found in old grasslands.  Most other Hordeum are annual, and found in cultivated or waste ground 

    Recording advice

    The County Recorder has asked for a specimen of this plant to be retained for verification


    In old meadows.

    When to see it

    Flowering June and July.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Fairly frequent in central and southern Britain (south of the Humber) scarcer in the north and west of Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly frequent in those areas of Leicestershire and Rutland with heavier, clay soils. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 348 of the 617 tetrads.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map