I've got seeds to share! Agropryon cristatum is a fiercely hardy crested wheatgrass, a relative of wheat, and it has the same number of chromosomes as Einkorn wheat. The reading I've done suggests that this might be able to hybridize with it.
There are 200 seeds for each of these three accessions, and I won't be needing that many. If anybody wants to take a stab at perennial Einkorn (or any other project), let me know and I would be glad to send you some.
Agropyron cristatum is one of several closely related grass species referred to as crested wheatgrass. It is unable to hybridize with its similar relatives, as it is a diploid species, whereas its closest relative, Agropyron desortum, is a tetraploidal species. It was introduced from Russia and Siberia to North America in the first half of the twentieth century, and widely used to reseed abandoned marginal cropland undergoing varying degrees of soil erosion and secondary succession. A. cristatum is very long lived, with stands often remaining productive for 30 years or more.
That sounds interesting.
What do you plan on using it for?
It's about becoming like granny.
Location: Northeast of Seattle, zone 8: temperate with rainy winters and dry summers.
Ah, yes, you've found the root of the matter! Einkorn wheat is diploid, unlike most (or all) of the other cultivated Triticum species. I'm planning to attempt a cross between Agropyron cristatum and Einkorn, to hopefully get a grain very much like Einkorn, but perennial.
There are a couple reasons for this:
1. Einkorn has a better nutritional profile than other wheats, and its gluten is much healthier for humans to eat.
2. It is generally a more resilient crop to grow in terms of handling pests and drought. And its tightly hulled grains may help keep fungal diseases out of the grains.
2. Einkorn is the most primitive of the cultivated wheats, so I'm hoping it is easier to perennialize.
Hey Jason - I'd love to do a little swapping please. We've been playing with a few "perennial" grains, but not this one. How about I send some pawpaw seeds your way as a thank you? these are Mid Atlantic USA natives from this year's harvest.
Thanks for this!!
Carma and Marianne, I'd be glad to send you some. PM me and we can arrange details!
I should clarify, though, that these seeds were freely given to me, and I will freely give them to you or anybody else until I run out. It is not at all necessary to trade for them! I do love seeds though (in a cookie monster voice: SEEDS!), so if you have some extras to share I'll send you my seed list and you could pick something else I have that you want, too.