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Elymus hispidus - (Opiz) Melderis

Common Name Kernza. Wild triga, Pubescent wheatgrass,
Family Poaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats Steppes, on open stony and small-grained hillsides, among shrubs, up to the lower mountain belt; at elevations up to 2,300 metres[1145].
Range Eurasia - Germany, south to Portugal and Spain, east through Turkey and the Caucasus to central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Western United States and Western Canada.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Elymus hispidus Kernza. Wild triga, Pubescent wheatgrass,


wikimedia.org Stefan.lefnaer
Elymus hispidus Kernza. Wild triga, Pubescent wheatgrass,
wikimedia.org Stefan.lefnaer

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Elymus hispidus is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. The flowers are pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Agropyron ambigens (Hausskn.) Roshev. Agropyron aucheri Boiss. Agropyron aucheri glabrescens Mouterde. Agropyron banaticum (Heuff.) Thaisz. Agropyron barbatulum Schur. Agropyron densiflorum (Willd.) P.Beauv. Agropyron goiranianum Vis. ex Goiran. Agropyron hispidum Opiz. Agropyron intermedium (Host) P.Beauv. Agropyron laevifolium Opiz. Agropyron latronum (Godr.) P.Candargy. Agropyron mucronatum Opiz. Agropyron murinum Hausskn. Agropyron podperae velutinum Melderis. Agropyron popovii Drobow. Agropyron ruthenicum (Griseb.) Prokudin. Agropyron salinum Schur. Agropyron savignonei De Not. Agropyron trichophorum (Link) K.Richt. Agropyron truncatum (Wallr.) Fuss. Agropyron virescens (Pancic) P.Candargy. Braconotia glauca (Roem. & Schult.) Godr. Elymus bazargiciensis Burduja. Elymus hispidus (Opiz) Melderis. Elytrigia aucheri (Boiss.) Nevski. Elytrigia intermedia (Host) Nevski. Elytrigia mucronata (Opiz) Prokudin. Elytrigia pouzolzii (Godr. & Gren.) Holub. Elytrigia prokudinii Dubovik. Elytrigia ruthenica (Griseb.) Prokudin. Elytrigia trichophora (Link) Nevski. Thinopyrum intermedium (Host) Barkworth & D.R.Dewey. Trichopyrum intermedium (Host) Á.Löve. Triticum arenicola A.Kern. ex Meryh. Triticum densiflorum Willd. Triticum distichum Schleich. ex DC. Triticum glaucum Desf. ex DC. Triticum glaucum Honck. Triticum glaucum barbulatum (Schur) Porcius. Triticum hirsutum Steven ex Schrad. Triticum intermedium Host. Triticum latronum Godr. Triticum repens Hegetschw. Triticum rigidum Schleich. ex Mert. & W.D.J.Koch. Triticum rigidum ruthenicum Griseb. Triticum savignonei (De Not.) Nyman. Triticum trichophorum Link. Triticum truncatum Wallr. Triticum virescens (Pancic) Pancic. Zeia glauca (Roem. & Schult.) Lunell.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Portion: Seeds, Grain, Cereal. Seed - raw or cooked[646 ]. A sweet, mild, nutty flavout[646 ]. Usually ground into a powder and used as a flour, it can also be eaten raw when sprouted or can be cooked whole in a similar manner to rice, or be added to stews etc[646 , K ]. The grain has higher levels of protein (20.8%), fat (3.21%) and ash (2.64%) than wheat[646 ]. The protein is nutritionally limiting in lysine as is wheat, but the grain has higher levels than wheat of all the other essential amino acids[646 ]. No functional gluten was found in samples of the grain tested by USDA. However no tests have been conducted to determine if individuals with wheat or gluten allergies can tolerate this grain and, since it is closely related to wheat, there is a possibility that this may cause similar problems[646 ]. Most of the grain will have the hulls still attached after harvesting. Dehulling can be accomplished with any piece of equipment that will rub the grain vigorously. A brush machine in which brushes rotate rapidly inside a cylindrical screen is an effective dehuller[646 ]. Carbon Farming Solutions - Staple Crop: balanced carb (The term staple crop typically refers to a food that is eaten routinely and accounts for a dominant part of people's diets in a particular region of the world) [1-1].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None Known

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Other Uses

Widely planted and naturalized in western North America, used for forage and erosion control. An excellent food source for grazing and browsing animals. Left unharvested, the vegetation is a good nesting habitat for some birds and waterfowl. Generally, it is not an invasive plant and coexists well with native plant species. Erosion control and land rehabilitation are additional uses for this plant. This species is well adapted to the stabilization of disturbed soils. It can be used in critical and urban areas where irrigation water is limited; and to stabilize ditchbanks, dykes, roadsides and airport landing strips[277 , 646 ]. The plant can also be use to build soils because of its heavy root production. Levels as high as 7,500 kilos (dry weight) per hectare of root production in the upper 20cm of soil have been measured in five-year-old stands[277 ]. It can be used as a reclamation grass for mine sites[646 ]. It establishes quickly to form a protective mat of roots and rhizomes, even when planted on soils degraded by earth moving or mining. Within five years, stands have produced up to 7000 pounds of the dry root mass per acre in the top 8 inches of soil. Heavy root production holds the soil in place and restores its natural fertility by increasing the soil carbon. Attractive to pets who often chew on it to aid their digestion.

Cultivation details

Management: Standard  Staple Crop: Balanced carb  Under Development

Climate: cold to warm temperate. Humidity: semi-arid to humid. When grown at higher elevations (from 1,000 - 2,700 metres) Thinopyrum intermedium can tolerate a minimum annual rainfall of around 300mm, though rainfall requirements are greater at lower elevations[277 ]. The plant can tolerate up to 1,160mm per annum[418 ].Plants can withstand considerable cold, with temperatures down to around -25°c, so long as this is not accompanied by heavy rain[277 , 418 ]. Requires a sunny position. It prefers well drained loamy to clayey textured soils; the pubescent form performs best on loamy to sandy to shallow soils[277 ]. It can tolerate slightly acidic to mildly saline conditions[277 ]. Plants, especially the pubescent form, can tolerate low fertility[277 ]. Plants are tolerant of moderate, short-lasting seasonal inundation of the soil in spring[277 ]. Plants are very tolerant of fire - top growth is killed but the plant usually resprouts freely from the roots[277 ]. Seed production when the plant has ample moisture in the growing season can reach 500 - 600 kilos per hectare in the first year of harvest, though this diminishes in subsequent years unless the plant is fertilized and preferably also divided[277 , 646 ]. During the seed conditioning process, some of the seeds lose their hulls, producing naked hull-less grain. The hull-less seeds tend to lose viability more quickly and are therefore not sold for planting hay and forage crops. This grain is now being sold as Wild Triga, the first commercially available perennial grain[646 ]. There are two main forms of this species and at one time the two were treated as distinct (as Agropyron intermedium (Host) P.Beauv., with leaves and flower spikes mainly smooth; and Agropyron trichophorum (Link) K.Richt., which is densely hairy). The two interbreed freely and commercial seed will often produce a mix of the two forms. The hairy form is considered to be slightly more drought tolerant and winter hardy[277]. Carbon Farming Solutions - Cultivation: under development. Researchers estimate that Kernza could be yielding as wellas wheat within 20 years. However, seed size will be smaller. Gluten quality is not as good as wheat. Management: standard (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation) [1-1].

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Propagation

Seed - if sufficient moisture is available, the seed can be sown shallowly in situ in late summer. It germinates within a few days and grows rapidly before becoming dormant for the winter. New growth in spring is rapid, the plant flowering in early summer and maturing the seed in mid to late summer[646 ]. In drier soils the seed is better sown in the spring, but will generally only give a light crop or no crop of seed in its first year[277 ]. If seed is in short supply then it can be sown in containers in a greenhouse, pricked out into individual pots when large enough to handle and then planted out when 15cm or more tall. Division of the rhizomes is easy.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Pet Grass, Intermediate Wheatgrass, Wild Rye, Kernza. Wild triga, Pubescent wheatgrass. Kernza is a trademarked name held by the Land Institute for the processed grains of intermediate wheatgrass.[

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Eurasia - Germany, south to Portugal and Spain, east through Turkey and the Caucasus to central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Western United States and Western Canada.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants

 

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(Opiz) Melderis

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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