BARLEY

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BARLEY (in Latin, hordeum); a grain which has been known, like most other kinds of grain, from time immemorial. It has a thick spike ; the calyx, husk, awn and flower are like those of wheat or rye, but the awns are rough; the seed is swelling in the middle, and, for the most part, ends in a sharp point, to which the husks are closely united. The species are, 1. common longeared barley ; 2. winter or square barley, by some called big; 3. sprat barley, or battledoor barley. All these sorts of barley are sown in the spring of the year, in a dry time. The square barley, or big, is chiefly cultivated in the north of England and in Scotland, and is hardier than the other sorts. Barley is emollient, moistening, and productive of expectoration: this grain was chosen by Hippocrates as a proper food in inflammatory distempers. The principal use of barley, in England and America, is for making beer; in some parts of the European continent, horses are fed with it, and in other parte, poor people make bread of it. In Scotland, barley is a common ingredient for broths. Pearl barley and French barley are barley freed from the husk by means of a mill; the distinction between the two being, that pearl barley is reduced to the size of small shot, all but the heart of the grain being ground away.