Wall Barley

Hordeum murinum

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  3. Wall Barley


The feathery flower spikes of Wall Barley are a common sight along many urban pavements, pushing their way between the cracks in walls and stones. Wall Barley is also commonly found on waste grounds and bare patches in dry grasslands. Although the flowers may look soft, they are as clingy as Burdock burs and have also been the subject of many games as children desperately try to stick them to each other and unsuspecting pets.

How to identify

The distinctive bearded, green flower heads of Wall Barley appear from June to July and are easy to spot in an urban environment. Its spikelets (containing the flowers) are positioned close to each other in rows, forming a rectangular flower head with spiky tufts.

Where to find it

Common in England and Wales, but rarer elsewhere.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Although they sometimes don't look especially wildlife-friendly, our urban areas and waste grounds can provide valuable habitats for all kinds of plants and animals. The Wildlife Trusts get involved in different projects to help make these places as beneficial for wildlife as possible. We have a vision of a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Wall Barley
Latin name
Hordeum murinum
Height: up to 50cm
Conservation status