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Eragrostis tef - (Zuccagni.)Trotter.

Common Name Tef
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats A casual on waste ground in Britain.
Range N. Africa - Ethiopia. A casual in Britain.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Eragrostis tef Tef
Eragrostis tef Tef


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Eragrostis tef is a ANNUAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9. It is in flower from August to September, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


E. abessinica. E. abyssinica. Poa abyssinica.


 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed
Edible Uses:

Seed - cooked. It is used as a cereal for making bread and as a fermented food[46, 57, 61, 183]. 'Enjera' is a fermented pancake-like bread that is a made from this grain in Ethiopia where it is a staple food[183]. The bread is spongy, soft, thin and sour tasting[183]. The seed is very small but easy to harvest[K]. Protein content is around 13%.


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

None known

Special Uses


Cultivation details

Succeeds in any good loam or humus-rich soil in a sunny position[1]. Tef is cultivated for its seed in Ethiopia where it is a staple crop, there are many named varieties[46, 183]. It is occasionally cultivated for its seed in Europe[50] but is more commonly grown as an ornamental[1]. Plants can mature in 4 months from seed in warm climates[160], the crop is more problematic in Britain due to the cooler summers[K]. Plants tend to lodge[160].


Temperature Converter

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Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse, only just covering the seed. Germination is usually very quick and free. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant out after the last expected frosts. The seed can also be sown in situ in late April, but in cool summers this might not give a long enough growing season to ripen the crop[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

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

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.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Eragrostis carolinianaTufted lovegrassAnnual0.5 0-0  LMHNDM10 
Eragrostis curvulaWeeping Love GrassPerennial1.2 6-9  LMHNM10 
Eragrostis pilosaSoft Love Grass, Indian lovegrassAnnual0.6 6-9  LMNM110

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

dawit girma   Fri Jul 1 10:32:13 2005

dear sir i found this site somewhat interesting. but there are a lot of things regarding tef. currently i am a researcher at ethiopian agricultural research organization as head of tef breeding section at holetta center. so that if there is anything regarding tef that you want to know please contact me because i will give you as much as information you want and something useful about the production and constraints of tef. so that you can use my e-mail address for further contact. thanking you in anticipation.

Jesús Antonio Meza Martell   Wed Feb 7 2007

I am interested in sowing teff in San Luis Potosí, México. ¿How can I get seeds? my email is Thank you!

Ken Fern, Plants for a Future   Sun Feb 11 2007

I know of at least one seed supplier who will send seeds to Mexico. Called B & T World seeds, their web site is at There are quite possible suppliers in America as well, though I have no details of this.

   Wed Mar 7 2007

Tef is a good substutute for those allergic to gluten. Do more research and help yourself.

Ema   Tue May 8 2007

I want to buy Eragrostis tef seed. How can I?

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