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Hordeum distichon - L.

Common Name Two-Rowed Barley
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known in the wild. Occurs as a relict of cultivation in Britain but it does not persist[17].
Range Of uncertain origin, possibly a hybrid between H. spontaneum and a 6-rowed barley[34].
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Hordeum distichon Two-Rowed Barley


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Hordeum distichon Two-Rowed Barley
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Hordeum distichon is a ANNUAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

H. vulgare distichon.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed
Edible Uses: Coffee  Salt  Sweetener

Seed - cooked. The seed can be ground into a flour and used as a cereal in making bread, porridge etc[1, 4, 34, 46]. Malt is obtained by sprouting and roasting the seed, then boiling the seed. The resulting liquid is a sweet substance that is used in making beer and as a food[4, 46]. The longer the seed is roasted, the darker this liquid will be. The roasted (unsprouted) seed is used as a coffee and a salt substitute[46].

Medicinal Uses

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Antidiarrhoeal  Demulcent  Nutritive

Barley grain is an excellent food for convalescence, either in the form of porridge or as a decoction of the seed. It is soothing to the throat and provides easily assimilated nutrients[4, 254]. It can also be taken to clear catarrh. Its demulcent properties soothes inflammation of the gut and urinary tract[254]. It is commonly given to children suffering minor infections or diarrhoea and is particularly recommended as a treatment for feverish states and in catarrhal affections of the respiratory and urinary organs[4, 254]. Made into a poultice, the seed is an effective remedy for soothing and reducing inflammation in sores and swellings[254]. Modern research has shown that barley may be of aid in the treatment of hepatitis, whilst other trials have shown that it may help to control diabetes[254]. Barley bran may have the effect of lowering blood cholesterol levels and preventing bowel cancer[254].

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Other Uses

Biomass  Mulch  Paper

The stems, after the seed has been harvested, have many uses. They are a source of fibres for making paper, a biomass for fuel etc, they can be shredded and used as a mulch[141, 171].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most soils and in climates ranging from sub-arctic to sub-tropical[1, 171]. Easily grown in light soils[162]. Widely cultivated in temperate zones, especially in cooler or moister areas, for its edible seed[1, 50, 171]. There are many named varieties. This species is sometimes considered to be no more than a sub-species of H. vulgare[61].

Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - sow in situ in March or October and only just cover the seed. Make sure the soil surface does not dry out if the weather is dry. Germination takes place within 2 weeks.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Hordeum bulbosumBulbous BarleyPerennial1.2 -  LMHNDM20 
Hordeum deficiens Annual0.0 -  LMHNM30 
Hordeum hexastichonSix-Row Barley, Common barleyAnnual1.2 0-0  LMHNM30 
Hordeum intermedium Annual1.0 -  LMHNM20 
Hordeum jubatumFoxtail Barley, Intermediate barleyPerennial0.3 4-8  LMHNDM110
Hordeum murinumMouse Barley, Smooth barley, Hare barley, Wall barleyAnnual0.5 0-0  LMHNDM21 
Hordeum trifurcatumEgyptian BarleyAnnual1.0 -  LMHNDM20 
Hordeum vulgareBarley, Common barleyAnnual1.0 4-8  LMHNM430
Hordeum zeocritonSprat BarleyAnnual1.0 -  LMHNM20 

 

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