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barley,annual cereal plant (Hordeum vulgare and sometimes other species) of the family Poaceae (grassgrass,
any plant of the family Poaceae (formerly Gramineae), an important and widely distributed group of vascular plants, having an extraordinary range of adaptation. Numbering approximately 600 genera and 9,000 species, the grasses form the climax vegetation (see ecology) in
..... Click the link for more information. family), cultivated by humans probably as early as any cereal. It was known to the ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians and was the chief bread material in Europe as late as the 16th cent. It has a wide range of cultivation and matures even at high altitudes, since its growing period is short; however, it cannot withstand hot and humid climates. Today barley is typically a special-purpose grain with many varieties rather than a general market crop. It is a valuable stock feed (often as a corn substitute) and is used for malting when the grain is of high quality. It is a minor source of flour and breakfast foods. Pearl barley is often used in soups. In the Middle East a limited amount of barley is eaten like rice. In the United States most spring barley comes from the western states and most winter barley is grown in the southeastern states for autumn and spring pasture and as a cover crop. Barley is subject to several diseases including smut and rust. Barley is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Poaceae.
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A plant of the genus Hordeum in the order Cyperales that is cultivated as a grain crop; the seed is used to manufacture malt beverages and as a cereal.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. any of various erect annual temperate grasses of the genus Hordeum, esp H. vulgare, that have short leaves and dense bristly flower spikes and are widely cultivated for grain and forage
2. the grain of any of these grasses, used in making beer and whisky and for soups, puddings, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005