Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Squirrel-tail Grass, Foxtail Barley

Squirrel-tail Grass, Foxtail Barley

Hordeum jubatum

Full sun, medium to moderately dry moisture level, tolerant of a wide range of soils, neutral to strongly alkaline pH.  1 foot height, blooms spring to summer, purple to pale green flowers, spreads aggressively.

Germination Code:  A.  Germination is inhibited by warm summer temperatures.

Native Region:  Only occurs in 2 counties:  Chester and Davidson

This cool-season grass can be weedy or invasive and once established, it can be hard to eradicate.  However, it is a beautiful grass that is small and shiny, and when in flower has nodding clusters of many, long straight bristles.  Was probably one of the colonizers of temporarily bare soil in presettlement prairies.  Requires fairly moist conditions and cannot sustain itself during long, dry periods. Good for erosion control.  Many waterfowl species eat the seed.


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