Triticum compactum

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Triticum compactum
Triticum compactum0.jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Genus: Triticum
T. compactum
Binomial name
Triticum compactum

Triticum compactum or club wheat is a species of wheat adapted to low-humidity growing conditions. T. compactum is similar enough to common wheat (T. aestivum) that it is often considered a subspecies, T. aestivum compactum. It can be distinguished by its more compact ear due to shorter rachis segments, giving it its common name. In the United States of America, nearly all T. compactum is grown in dry areas of the Pacific Northwest.

T. compactum is a hexaploid with 21 chromosomes. T. compactum, like other club wheats, has been selectively bred for its lower protein content. Due to the process of selective breeding T. compactum has fewer HMW-glutenin genes than other species of wheat. Flour made from T. compactum is thus better suited for the production of cookies. [1] T. compactum like other bread wheats have never been observed to grow in the wild. [2]


Middle East and Europe

The oldest primitive forms of T. compactum appear to have first arisen, along with similar wheats, in neolithic Syria. [2] [3] [4] From Syria T. compactum spread to Europe and was considered to be the oldest wheat species cultivated in Europe until the 1940s when older tetraploid varieties of wheat were identified. [5] T. compactum appears in Europe for the first time during the Neolithic Era reaching as far as Spain by 4600 BC. [6] Evidence of T. compactum in Portugal [7] and France [8] demonstrates that the Romans cultivated T. compactum on the Iberian peninsula during the first and second centuries BCE. Evidence of T. compactum found along with barley in an east Finnish settlement reveals that T. compactum was cultivated in Finland starting between fifth and seventh centuries AD. [9]

North America

T. compactum was believed to have been introduced to North America from Chile by Pacific shipping routes during the 1960s and '70s. [10] However analysis of adobe bricks in San Antonio, San Fernando, Soledad, San José, San Juan Bautista and Sonoma missions revealed that T. compactum was present in California by the year 1787 and was likely introduced by Spaniards through Mexico. [11] T. compactum was farmed extensively during the beginning of California's agricultural history. Data even suggests that T. compactum was farmed more than the related T. aestivum during this time. T. compactum erinaceum, also called California Club Wheat, was a bearded, hairy rachis, red-chaffed subspecies of T. compactum that is thought to have disappeared before 1822. [12] As production of American wheat drastically increased during the early twentieth century [13] T. aestivum rose in popularity surpassing T. compactum. Today most T. compactum is grown alongside T. aestivum because of their similar nature.


Ears of T. compactum Usdacompactum.jpg
Ears of T. compactum

T. compactum is small free-threshing club wheat with rounded grains. [8] In T. compactum, like other bread and club wheats, there is a keel on the upper section of the otherwise flat glume. [5] T. compactum characteristically has a smaller, crooked crease than other species of wheat and smaller cheek size at the brush end. [3]


T. compactum is identifiable from T. aestivum mainly by its shorter rachis segments and compact ear for which it is named. [1] The now extinct subspecies of T. compactum, T. compactum erinaceum or California club wheat, can be distinguished from other subspecies by its red chaff and hairier rachides. [12] The below chart indicates the physiological factors that can be used to distinguish between various subspecies and varieties of T. compactum: [14]

Triticum compactum
Spike awnless
Glumes glabrous
Glumes white
Kernels white
Triticum compactum humboldtii
Soft to semihard
Winter habit

Hybrid 128

var. Albit

Intermediate habit

Hybrid 143

Spring habit
Plant short

var. Poso

Plant tall

var. Little club

var Big club

Semihard to hard

Hybrid 63

Kernels red
Triticum compactum wernerianum

Hybrid 123

Glumes brown
Kernels white
Triticum compactum rufulum
Winter habit

var. Genro

Spring habit
Spike oblongfusiform
spike middense

var. Hood

spike dense

var. Jenkin

Spike clávate
Glumes lightbrown

var. Redchaff

Glumes bluishbrown

var. Bluechaff

Glumes pubescent
Glumes brown
Kernels white
Triticum compactum wittmaddanum

var. Coppei

Spike awned
Glumes glabrous
Glumes brown
Kernels red
Triticum compactum erinaceum

var. Mayview

Fossilized specimen

Most ancient T. compactum was cultivated between the Neolithic era and the Bronze Age and thus the most common evidence of ancient T. compactum is carbonized. Although carbonized wheat may often resemble its unfossilized counterpart and can often be identified with the same methods described above it is sometimes difficult to distinguish carbonized wheat this way due to a damaged or incomplete specimen. As a general rule, if a naked wheat, wheat with round grains and irregularly broken rachis forming internodes, is uncovered in a European site, excluding all sites on the Italian or Balkan peninsulas, it should be considered a hexaploid club wheat (either T. aestivum or T. compactum ). If such wheat has short internodes it should be identified as T. compactum. [15]


In the northern hemisphere Triticum compactum generally flowers during the months of June and July with its seeds ripening in August and September. Triticum compactum is an annual plant growing to heights of approximately 0.6 meters in the summer and dying in the winter. [16]

Related Research Articles

Wheat Cereal grain

Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus Triticum; the most widely grown is common wheat. The archaeological record suggests that wheat was first cultivated in the regions of the Fertile Crescent around 9600 BCE. Botanically, the wheat kernel is a type of fruit called a caryopsis.

Rye Species of grain

Rye is a grass grown extensively as a grain, a cover crop and a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe (Triticeae) and is closely related to both wheat (Triticum) and barley. Rye grain is used for flour, bread, beer, crispbread, some whiskeys, some vodkas, and animal fodder. It can also be eaten whole, either as boiled rye berries or by being rolled, similar to rolled oats.

Einkorn wheat Species of grass

Einkorn wheat can refer either to the wild species of wheat, Triticum boeoticum, or to the domesticated form, Triticum monococcum. The wild and domesticated forms are either considered separate species, as here, or as subspecies: Triticum monococcum subsp. boeoticum (wild) and T. monococcum subsp. monococcum (domesticated). Einkorn is a diploid species of hulled wheat, with tough glumes ('husks') that tightly enclose the grains. The cultivated form is similar to the wild, except that the ear stays intact when ripe and the seeds are larger. The domestic form is known as "petit épeautre" in French, "Einkorn" in German, "einkorn" or "littlespelt" in English, "piccolo farro" in Italian and "escanda menor" in Spanish. The name refers to the fact that each spikelet contains only one grain.

<i>Secale</i> Genus of grasses

Secale is a genus of the grass tribe Triticeae, which is related to barley (Hordeum) and wheat (Triticum). The genus includes cultivated species such as rye as well as weedy and wild rye species. The most well known species of the genus is the cultivated rye, S. cereale, which is grown as a grain and forage crop. Wild and weedy rye species help provide a huge gene pool that can be used for improvement of the cultivated rye.

Emmer Type of wheat

Emmer wheat or hulled wheat is a type of awned wheat. Emmer is a tetraploid. The domesticated types are Triticum turgidum subsp. dicoccum and Triticum turgidum conv. durum. The wild plant is called Triticum turgidum subsp. dicoccoides. The principal difference between the wild and the domestic is that the ripened seed head of the wild plant shatters and scatters the seed onto the ground, while in the domesticated emmer the seed head remains intact, thus making it easier for humans to harvest the grain.

Durum Species of wheat used for food

Durum wheat, also called pasta wheat or macaroni wheat, is a tetraploid species of wheat. It is the second most cultivated species of wheat after common wheat, although it represents only 5% to 8% of global wheat production. It was developed by artificial selection of the domesticated emmer wheat strains formerly grown in Central Europe and the Near East around 7000 BC, which developed a naked, free-threshing form. Like emmer, durum wheat is awned. It is the predominant wheat that grows in the Middle East.

Spelt Species of grain

Spelt, also known as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat, is a species of wheat that has been cultivated since approximately 5000 BC.

Khorasan wheat Species of grass

Khorasan wheat or Oriental wheat, commercially known as Kamut, is a tetraploid wheat species. The grain is twice the size of modern-day wheat, and has a rich, nutty flavor.

The founder crops are the eight plant species that were domesticated by early Neolithic farming communities in southwest Asia, which formed the basis of systematic agriculture in the Middle East, North Africa, India, Persia and Europe. They consist of three cereals, four pulses, and flax. These species were amongst the first domesticated plants in the world.

<i>Aegilops</i> Genus of grasses

Aegilops is a genus of Eurasian and North American plants in the grass family, Poaceae. They are known generally as goatgrasses. Some species are known as invasive weeds in parts of North America.

Common wheat Species of plant

Common wheat, also known as bread wheat, is a cultivated wheat species. About 95% of wheat produced worldwide is common wheat; it is the most widely grown of all crops and the cereal with the highest monetary yield.

Taxonomy of wheat

During 10,000 years of cultivation, numerous forms of wheat, many of them hybrids, have developed under a combination of artificial and natural selection. This diversity has led to much confusion in the naming of wheats. This article explains how genetic and morphological characteristics of wheat influence its classification, and gives the most common botanical names of wheat in current use. Information on the cultivation and uses of wheat is at the main wheat page.

Farro Food made from the grains of certain wheat species

Farro refers to the grains of three wheat species, which are sold dried, and cooked in water until soft. It is eaten plain or is often used as an ingredient in salads, soups, and other dishes.

Triticeae Tribe of grasses

Triticeae is a botanical tribe within the subfamily Pooideae of grasses that includes genera with many domesticated species. Major crop genera found in this tribe include wheat, barley, and rye; crops in other genera include some for human consumption, and others used for animal feed or rangeland protection. Among the world's cultivated species, this tribe has some of the most complex genetic histories. An example is bread wheat, which contains the genomes of three species with only one being a wheat Triticum species. Seed storage proteins in the Triticeae are implicated in various food allergies and intolerances.

Gordon Hillman

Gordon Hillman was a British archaeobotanist and academic at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. He has been described as "a pivotal figure in the development of archaeobotany at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, [who] through his research, publications and teaching had a major influence on the field worldwide."

Triticum urartu, also known as red wild einkorn wheat, and a form of einkorn wheat, is a grass species related to wheat, and native to western Asia. It is a diploid species whose genome is the A genome of the allopolyploid hexaploid bread wheat Triticum aestivum, which has genomes AABBDD.

<i>Triticum compactum erinaceum</i> Extinct subspecies of grass

Triticum compactum erinaceum, also called California Club Wheat or Mayview wheat, is an extinct subspecies of the hexaploid club wheat Triticum compactum. T. compactum erinaceum was a bearded, hairy rachis, red-chaffed wheat named for its appearance similar to that of a hedgehog. T. compactum erinaceum was thought to have disappeared before 1822. However data from the United States Department of Agriculture indicates two additional specimen that were discovered and identified as T. compactum erinaceum more than a hundred years after their presumed disappearance. The new specimen indicate that T. compactum erinaceum was grown in the United States until the dust bowl era, at which point it presumably disappeared. There have only been four recorded specimens of T. compactum erinaceum.

Triticum araraticum is a wild tetraploid species of wheat. T. araraticum is one of the least studied wheat species in the world.

Ancient grains Small, hard, dry seeds used as food

Ancient grains is a marketing term used to describe a category of grains and pseudocereals that are purported to have been minimally changed by selective breeding over recent millennia, as opposed to more widespread cereals such as corn, rice and modern varieties of wheat, which are the product of thousands of years of selective breeding. Ancient grains are often marketed as being more nutritious than modern grains, though their health benefits have been disputed by some nutritionists.

Ernest Robert Sears was an American geneticist, botanist, pioneer of plant genetics, and leading expert on wheat cytogenetics. Sears and Sir Ralph Riley (1924–1999) are perhaps the two most important founders of chromosome engineering in plant breeding.


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