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Genus Triticum Family Poaceae

Description: Erect, robust annual.

Leaves with ligule a translucent membranous rim; auricles present, hairy or glabrous; blade rolled in bud, flat, smooth, somewhat lax.

Inflorescence a distichous spike, internodes flattened and curved with spikelet on concave side. Spikelets solitary, sessile, slightly laterally compressed, with sides towards the rachis, tardily disarticulating above the glumes; florets 2–5, bisexual with the upper 1 or 2 sterile. Glumes equal, oblong, rounded on the back and/or with crested keel, rigid, 3–several-nerved. Lemmas usually longer than the glumes, rounded on the back in the lower part, rigid, 7-nerved, abruptly pointed or awned. Palea shorter than lemma, 2-keeled, keels ciliate, entire or splitting into 2 longitudinal halves when mature.

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 20 species native to the Mediterranean. It contains the cereal Wheat, many varieties of which are grown all over the world with T. aestivum, Bread Wheat, being the most widely grown of all cereals. T. durum is used to make macaroni and there are several other species grown for human and animal food in the Middle East.

Is also one parent of the hybrid genus X Triticosecale. Derivation: the Latin word for ‘wheat’.

Text by Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B.
Taxon concept: Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).

One species in NSW: Triticum aestivum

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