Triticum turgidum polonicum
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Common Name: Polish Wheat
Triticum turgidum polonicum is an annual plant that can grow up to 1.30 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
The origin of this species is uncertain.
Developed through cultivation, it is not known in a truly wild location.
Succeeds in most well-drained soils in a sunny position.
A rather primitive wheat, it probably arose through cultivation about 10,000 years ago following a cross between T. aethiopicum (the first primitive wheat) and Aegilops sp. It is sometimes cultivated for its edible seed, especially in N. Africa and the Mediterranean, and it can be grown very successfully under garden conditions[
]. There are some named varieties. 'Kamut' has very large kernels, 2 - 3 times the size of modern wheats. The seed contains significantly higher levels of protein and slightly higher levels of lipids and minerals. Reportedly less allergenic, though this has not been substantiated by controlled studies. The seed is said to have a superior flavour[
A tetraploid species[
Seed - cooked[
]. It is usually ground into a flour and used as a cereal. High in gluten[
]. The large seeds are suitable for making macaroni but not for bread[
]. The grain falls readily from the ears, it is of no value for milling[
The straw has many uses, as a biomass for fuel etc, for thatching, as a mulch in the garden etc[
A fibre obtained from the stems is used for making paper[
]. The stems are harvested in late summer after the seed has been harvested, they are cut into usable pieces and soaked in clear water for 24 hours. They are then cooked for 2 hours in lye or soda ash and then beaten in a ball mill for 1½ hours in a ball mill. The fibres make a green-tan paper[
The starch from the seed is used for laundering, sizing textiles etc[
]. It can also be converted to alcohol for use as a fuel.
Seed - sow early spring or autumn in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within a few days[
]. This sub-species is most commonly sown in the spring, though it is also sometimes sown in the autumn[