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Image courtesy of USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Hitchcock, A.S. (rev. A. Chase). 1950.
Manual of the grasses of the United States.
USDA Misc. Publ. No. 200. Washington, DC.
Barley anatomy is similar to other grasses. There are differences between the two-rowed and six-rowed varieties related to the fertility of the florets. For each type there are three florets at each node, and in two-rowed barley only the central floret is fertile, whereas in six-rowed all florets are fertile. (6) Although this causes each head of the six-rowed barley to produce more seeds, the two-rowed varieties tend to have more tillers per plant and therefore yield similarly (6).
The main difference between wild barley and cultivated barley is the rachis, which is more brittle in the wild barley and promotes the natural dispersal of seed. (6)
Other links of interest on Barley anatomy: