|Genus X Triticosecale ||Family Poaceae|
Common Name: Triticale
Description: Annuals to c. 1.3 m tall, erect or geniculate at the lowest node.
Leaves mainly cauline; ligule 2–4 mm long, membranous, truncate to rounded.
Inflorescence a terminal distichous spike with spikelets placed with their broadest side to the axis; internodes 3–5 mm long, densely pilose, at least on the edges. Spikelets solitary, 10–17 mm long; with bisexual florets, distal florets usually reduced; breaking up on threshing above the glumes. Glumes 9–12 mm long, asymmetrically keeled, the keel more obvious and more conspicuously ciliate towards the apex; tip retuse to acute; awn terminal 3–4 cm long. Lemmas 10–15 mm long, laterally compressed, keeled, the keel ciliate towards the apex; awn terminal, 3–50 mm long.
Distribution and occurrence: Aust.: 1 'sp.' and many cultivars, especially in eastern States, where it is grown as a grain crop and to control erosion on roadsides.
Derivation: derived from the 2 generic names 'Triticum' and 'Secale'.
NSW subdivisions: *ST
This 'genus' consists of hybrids between species of Secale and Triticum. Natural hybrids between the 2 genera are uncommon, even where both genera are native. Man-made hybrids between the 2 genera are becoming increasingly important as cereal crops. These hybrids often have a complex ancestry involving multiple hybridisations, backcrossings and artifically-induced chromosome doubling. The genetic material in some cultivars is derived almost entirely from Triticum, whereas in others it is almost entirely from Secale, with most falling in between these 2 extremes. Beacuse of the varied and complex ancestry of different X Triticosecale hybrids, it is best to treat the cultivars as such. e.g. X Triticosecale cv. 'Tahara' or X Triticosecale cv. 'Muir'.
Text by (2008) Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. and Wheeler, D.J.B.
Taxon concept: Grasses of New South Wales. 4th ed.