Botanical Name: Aegilops speltoides
Species: A. speltoides
Synonyms: Sitopsis speltoides,Triticum speltoides
*Aegilops speltoides Tausch
*Sitopsis speltoides (Tausch) A.Love, 1984
*Triticum speltoides (Tausch) Gren., 1857
Common Names: Goatgrass
Habitat: Aegilops speltoides is native to N. Africa, W. Asia. It grows in dry acid grassland, oak scrub, plains, rocky limestone hills, fallow fields and edges of cornfields, 100 – 1200 metres in Turkey.
Aegilops speltoides is an annual plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
No records of cultivation details have been seen, the plant grows well at Kew on an acid gravelly soil and also in Cornwall on a slightly acid loam. It is probably best grown in a sunny position but tolerates light shade. This species is believed to have hybridized with primitive forms of Triticum spp (Wheat) to produce some of the more modern Triticum spp. It could therefore be of value in breeding programmes.
Seed – sow early to mid spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Make sure the soil does not dry out before the plants germinate. Seed can also be sown early early spring in a greenhouse and planted out in May.
Seed – cooked. Small and very fiddly to harvest and clean. An emergency food, it is normally used as a cereal substitute for making bread etc.
Medicinal Uses: Not known.
Aegilops speltoides is often used for animal feed, and it has grown in cultivated beds. This plant is an important natural source disease resistance in wheat, and it is known or likely to be susceptible to barley mild mosaic bymovirus.
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