Triticum monococcum

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Triticum monococcum L.

alt=Description of 1-80 Engrain commun Vilmorin.jpg picture.
Engrain commun (Vilmorin, 1880)
Order Poales
Family Gramineae
Genus Triticum

2n = 14, genome AmAm

Origin : Turkey to Irak and Iran

wild and cultivated

English {{{english}}}
French {{{french}}}


Einkorn is basically a hulled wheat (apart from T. sinskajae).

Popular names

  • English: einkorn
  • French: engrain
see more European names


Triticum monococcum L. (1753)

The wild form is Triticum monococcum subsp. boeoticum (Boiss.) A. et D. Löve (1961) [syn. T. boeoticum Boiss. (1854)]. It includes types with one-seeded spikelets, sometimes called T. aegilopoides (Link) Bal. (1854), and types with two-seeded spikelets, T. thaoudar Reuter (1860). A particular wild type, Triticum urartu Tuman. (1938), doesn't cross with the other types, and is now considered as a distinct species.

The cultivated form is Triticum monococcum subsp. monococcum. It includes a type with naked seeds, called T. sinskajae A. Filat. et Kurk. (1975), and endemic to Daghestan.


Descriptions and drawings of the two cultivars known in Western Europe in 1880 and 1909 are found in Les meilleurs blés.


According to Heun et al. (1997), all crop and weedy einkorns come from one wild population of Karacadag mountains, in Turkey, not far from the archaeological sites of Abu Hureyra and Mureybit. It appears as cultivated from 7000 - 6000 BC, from Anatolia to western Iran. It spread with agriculture in all the Middle-East, in the Balkans and the Danube region. Einkorn was later largely replaced by naked wheats. Its cultivation subsisted as a relic crop in many places of Europe up to now. It has recently come back as a specialty and health food.

see Candolle's article.


Einkorn is not suitable to make French-style bread, and is mostly used boiled (entire or broken) in porridges and soups.


  • Heun Manfred et al., 1997. Site of einkorn wheat domestication identified by DNA fingerprinting. Science, 278 : 1312-1314.
  • Padulosi Stefano, Hammer Karl & Heller J., 1996. Hulled wheats. Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Hulled Wheats, 21-22 July 1995, Castelvecchio Pascoli, Tuscany, Italy. Rome, IPGRI (Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops, 4). 262 p.
  • Zohary Daniel, Hopf Maria & Weiss Ehud, 2012. Domestication of plants in the Old World. Fourth Edition. Oxford, Oxford University Press. XVI-243 p.