Hordeum vulgare

Barley , a member of the grass family, is a major cereal grain. Important uses include use as animal fodder, as a source of fermentable material for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods. It is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread of various cultures. Barley grains are commonly made into malt in a traditional and ancient method of preparation.

In a 2007 ranking of cereal crops in the world, barley was fourth both in terms of quantity produced and in area of cultivation ....hieroglyph snipped...
Barley spray  Barley,Geotagged,Hordeum vulgare,South Africa,cereals,plants


The Old English word for 'barley' was ''bære'', which traces back to Proto-Indo-European and is cognate to the Latin word ''farina'' "flour". The direct ancestor of modern English "barley" in Old English was the derived adjective ''bærlic,'' meaning "of barley". The first citation of the form ''bærlic'' in the ''Oxford English Dictionary'' dates to around 966 AD, in the compound word ''bærlic-croft''.
The underived word ''bære'' survives in the north of Scotland as ''bere'', and refers to a specific strain of six-row barley grown there. The word barn, which originally meant "barley-house", is also rooted in these words.A new stabilized variegated variety of ''Hordeum vulgare'', billed as ''Hordeum vulgare varigate'', has been introduced for cultivation as an ornamental and pot plant for pet cats to nibble.
Hordeum vulgare  Barley,Crops,Flora,Hordeum vulgare,Macro,Plants,seed heads,seeds


Barley is a member of the grass family. It is a self-pollinating, diploid species with 14 chromosomes. The wild ancestor of domesticated barley, ''Hordeum vulgare'' subsp. ''spontaneum'', is abundant in grasslands and woodlands throughout the Fertile Crescent area of Western Asia and northeast Africa, and is abundant in disturbed habitats, roadsides and orchards. Outside this region, the wild barley is less common and is usually found in disturbed habitats. However, in a study of genome-wide diversity markers, Tibet was found to be an additional center of domestication of cultivated barley.


{| class="infobox" style=" font-size: 88%; text-align: left; width: 22em; line-height: 1.5em"
|+ style="font-size: 125%; font-weight: bold" | Raw barley

! colspan=2 style="text-align: center" | Nutritional value per 100 g

|- style="background-color: #e0e0e0"
! Energy
| 1,474 kJ
! Carbohydrates
| 77.7 g

! - Sugars
| 0.8 g

! - Dietary fiber
| 15.6 g

! Fat
| 1.2 g

! Protein
| 9.9 g

| Thiamine
| 0.2 mg
| Riboflavin
| 0.1 mg
| Niacin
| 4.6 mg
| Pantothenic acid
| 0.3 mg
| Vitamin B6
| 0.3 mg
| Folate
| 23 μg

| Vitamin C
| 0.0 mg

| Calcium
| 29.0 mg
| Iron
| 2.5 mg
| Magnesium
| 79.0 mg

| Phosphorus
| 221 mg
| Potassium
| 280 mg

| Zinc
| 2.1 mg

|- style="background-color: #e0e0e0; font-size: 90%; text-align: center; padding: 4pt; line-height: 1.25em"
| colspan=2 | Percentages are roughly approximatedusing US recommendations for adults.Source:

Barley contains eight essential amino acids. According to a 2006 study, eating whole-grain barley can regulate blood sugar for up to 10 hours after consumption compared to white or even whole-grain wheat, which have similar glycemic indices. The effect was attributed to colonic fermentation of indigestible carbohydrates.

Hulled barley is eaten after removing the inedible, fibrous, outer hull. Once removed, it is called dehulled barley . Considered a whole grain, dehulled barley still has its bran and germ, making it a nutritious and popular health food. Pearl barley is dehulled barley which has been steam processed further to remove the bran. It may be polished, a process known as "pearling". Dehulled or pearl barley may be processed into a variety of barley products, including flour, flakes similar to oatmeal, and grits.

Barley meal, a wholemeal barley flour lighter than wheat meal but darker in colour, is used in porridge and gruel in Scotland. Barley meal gruel is known as ''sawiq'' in the Arab world. With a long history of cultivation in the Middle East, barley is used in a wide range of traditional Arabic, Assyrian, Israelite, Kurdish, and Persian foodstuffs including kashkak, kashk and murri. Barley soup is traditionally eaten during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia. ''Cholent'' or ''hamin'' is a traditional Jewish stew often eaten on Sabbath, in a variety of recipes by both Mizrachi and Ashkenazi Jews, with barley cited throughout the Hebrew Bible in multiple references. In Eastern and Central Europe, barley is also used in soups and stews such as ričet. In Africa, where it is a traditional food plant, it has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.

The six-row variety ''bere'' is cultivated in Orkney, Shetland, Caithness and the Western Isles in the Scottish Highlands and islands. The grain is used to make ''beremeal'', used locally in bread, biscuits, and the traditional beremeal bannock....hieroglyph snipped...

Like wheat and rye, barley contains gluten, which makes it an unsuitable grain for consumption by those with celiac disease.


Barley was one of the first domesticated grains in the Fertile Crescent, an area of relatively abundant water in Western Asia and near the Nile river of northeast Africa. The grain appeared in the same time as einkorn and emmer wheat. Wild barley ranges from North Africa and Crete in the west, to Tibet in the east. The earliest evidence of wild barley in an archaeological context comes from the Epipaleolithic at Ohalo II at the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. The remains were dated to about 8500 BC. The earliest domesticated barley occurs at Aceramic Neolithic sites, in the Near East such as the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B layers of Tell Abu Hureyra, in Syria. Barley has been grown in the Korean Peninsula since the Early Mumun Pottery Period along with other crops such as millet, wheat, and legumes.

In the Pulitzer Prize-winning book ''Guns, Germs, and Steel'', Jared Diamond argues that the availability of barley, along with other domesticable crops and animals, in southwestern Eurasia significantly contributed to the broad historical patterns that human history has followed over approximately the last 13,000 years; ''i.e.'', why Eurasian civilizations, as a whole, have survived and conquered others.

Barley beer was probably one of the first alcoholic drinks developed by Neolithic humans....hieroglyph snipped... Barley later on was used as currency.
Alongside emmer wheat, barley was a staple cereal of ancient Egypt, where it was used to make bread and beer. The general name for barley is ''jt'' ; ''šma'' refers to Upper Egyptian barley and is a symbol of Upper Egypt. The Sumerian term is ''akiti''.
According to Deuteronomy 8:8, barley is one of the "Seven Species" of crops that characterize the fertility of the Promised Land of Canaan, and it has a prominent role in the Israelite sacrifices described in the Pentateuch . A religious importance extended into the Middle Ages in Europe, and saw barley's use in justice, via alphitomancy and the corsned.

{|style="float:right;clear:right;font-size:9pt;margin:2em 0 1em 1em;"
|+ Barley in Egyptian hieroglyphs
|''jt'' barley determinative/ideogram
|...hieroglyph snipped...
|''jt'' spelling
|...hieroglyph snipped...
|''šma'' determinative/ideogram
|...hieroglyph snipped...

In ancient Greece, the ritual significance of barley possibly dates back to the earliest stages of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The preparatory ''kykeon'' or mixed drink of the initiates, prepared from barley and herbs, referred in the Homeric hymn to Demeter, whose name some scholars believe meant "Barley-mother". The practice was to dry the barley groats and roast them before preparing the porridge, according to Pliny the Elder's ''Natural History'' . This produces malt that soon ferments and becomes slightly alcoholic.

Pliny also noted barley was a special food of gladiators known as ''hordearii'', "barley-eaters". However, by Roman times, he added that wheat had replaced barley as a staple.

Tibetan barley has been a staple food in Tibet since the fifth century AD. This grain, along with a cool climate that permitted storage, produced a civilization that was able to raise great armies....hieroglyph snipped... It is made into a flour product called ''tsampa'' that is still a staple in Tibet....hieroglyph snipped... The flour is roasted and mixed with butter and butter tea to form a stiff dough that is eaten in small balls.

In medieval Europe, bread made from barley and rye was peasant food, while wheat products were consumed by the upper classes. Potatoes largely replaced barley in Eastern Europe in the 19th century.


The Islamic prophet Muhammad prescribed barley for seven diseases. It was also said to soothe and calm the bowels. Avicenna, in his 11th century work ''The Canon of Medicine'', wrote of the healing effects of barley water, soup and broth for fevers. Additionally, barley can be roasted and turned into roasted barley tea, a popular Asian drink.

In English folklore, the figure of John Barleycorn in the folksong of the same name is a personification of barley, and of the alcoholic beverages made from it, beer and whisky. In the song, John Barleycorn is represented as suffering attacks, death, and indignities that correspond to the various stages of barley cultivation, such as reaping and malting. He may be related to older pagan gods, such as Mímir or Kvasir.


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SpeciesH. vulgare