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Triticum aestivum (bread wheat)

Bread wheat is more widely cultivated than any other crop, and world trade is of greater monetary value than all other cereals combined.
Triticum aestivum ‘Florence Aurore’ on a test plot in Lebanon

Triticum aestivum 'Florence Aurore' on a test plot in Lebanon

Species information

Scientific name: 

Triticum aestivum L.

Common name: 

bread wheat, common bread wheat, spring wheat, ordinary wheat, common wheat, field wheat

Conservation status: 

Widespread in cultivation.


Unknown in the wild; cultivated from the near-Arctic to the tropics.

Key Uses: 

Food, drink, textiles, building materials.

Known hazards: 

Wheat gluten allergy is a condition caused by an adverse immune system reaction to gliadin, a gluten protein found in wheat.


Genus: Triticum

About this species

Bread wheat is one of the world’s three main cereal crops, along with rice and maize. The generic name Triticum derives from the Latin for threshing or bruising, and the specific epithet aestivum is from the Latin for summer.

Triticum aestivum is a cultigen (a plant that has been altered by humans through a process of selective breeding) and as such is only known in cultivation. First domesticated at least 9,000 years ago, its origins have been the subject of intensive botanical and genetic research.

It is a member of the grass family (Poaceae), which includes cereals such as rice (Oryza sativa), maize (Zea mays) and oat (Avena sativa), and ornamentals such as pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) and bamboos.


Triticum sativum Lam., Triticum vulgare Vill., Triticum cereale Schrank, Triticum aristatum Schübl. (for a full list refer to the World Checklist)


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