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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Prairie Wildflowers and Grasses of North Dakota

Grass (Native Species)

Chris Grondahl photo: Foxtail barley
Chris Grondahl
  Foxtail barley
(Hordeum jubatum)

Distribution: statewide
Habitat: rangelands, hayfields, and disturbed grounds, quite salt tolerant
Description: Cool-season, short-lived perennial. Seedhead has very characteristic drooping spikes with numerous fine, long, soft, straight hairs.
Height: 8-30 inches
Other names: Squirreltail barley
Plant uses and other interesting facts: Hairs from the seeds can cause mouth sores if grazed in hay. Lakota name means "one uses it to tickle the face."

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