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Wheat growing in gravel... with essentially no roots. Is this normal?

 
Posts: 106
Location: Northeast of Seattle, zone 8: temperate with rainy winters and dry summers.
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I found this roughly one foot tall plant growing on compacted gravel on the side of a road. When I touched it, it feel over - which surprised me, because I really had not done anything that should have uprooted anything. Upon examination, it appears to have no roots longer than one half inch.

https://imgur.com/a/FrIJc

Is it normal for wheat to be able to do this?
 
Posts: 409
Location: Portlandish, Oregon
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Some more info would be helpful. Where was the plant/gravel? I could see this if it was in a place that had lots of liquid nutrients.
 
Jason Padvorac
Posts: 106
Location: Northeast of Seattle, zone 8: temperate with rainy winters and dry summers.
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It was near Interior, South Dakota, just outside Badlands National Park. It was a two-lane road, so I'm sure there is runoff when it rains, but immediate drainage thereafter I assume. It looks like the area gets 2-3 inches of rain a month: http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/interior/south-dakota/united-states/ussd0166

It was between a parking lot and empty, open space. No agriculture in the immediate area.
 
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