Two-rowed Barley - Hordeum distichon


    Grows to 1.2 metres tall, and has similar spikelets to other barleys but usually with long awns (>10 cm).  The common cultivated barley.

    Similar Species

    Six-rowed Barley (Hordeum vulgare) and other Hordeum, including some rarely recorded alien species. 

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Annual. Long awns > 10cm; spikelets in groups of three, the two lateral ones sterile and without awns, or very short awns, unlike Six-rowed Barley where all three florets in a spikelet are fertile and long-awned. 

    Recording advice

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


    On fairly light soils and disturbed ground. It is not tolerant of heavy shade.

    When to see it

    It is in flower from June to July/August.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Widespread but rather scattered records from around Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. It was not recorded in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire.

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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