Wild Winter Emmer (Israel)

Triticum turgidum subsp. dicoccoides

This wild emmer from Israel was successfully fall planted and survived our brutal winter (polar vortex with sub zero highs) and also did well during our extremely wet spring and summer here in Northern Indiana. These plants have a tendency to grow more horizontal than upright. I secured mine with tomato cages in order to keep the maturing grain heads off the ground.

Wild emmers are incredibly beautiful, resilient and have an abundance of genetic diversity which could prove useful for breeding projects. The grain yield off of wild emmer is small, hence these are not suitable for using as “wheat berries”. Wild emmers have a weak rachis (main stem that the individual grain spikelets are attached) which easily allows the individual grains spikelets to shatter and spread. This is a genetic characteristic bred out of heritage and modern wheats.

This variety will need selection and adaptation to improve grain fill, yield and disease resistance in regions with frequent spring/summer rains, humidity and heat.

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