What Does a Wheat Plant Look Like?

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The wheat plant is a tall and slim, single-stalk, bright-green plant with a few long, slender leaves and a head that contains an average of 50 kernels with prickly hairs called beards, according to RobinsonLibrary. Wheat is a grass-type plant that turns golden when ripe from stem to kernels, which are processed into products including flour and cereals for human consumption and feed for animals.

The wheat kernel resembles a small egg, one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch long, with an elongated oval shape. The kernel is made up of four parts: the outside husk, called chaff when harvested; the bran or coat, comprising several protective layers making up about 15% of the kernel, and used in making livestock feed; the endosperm, which is the meat (about 85 percent) of the kernel; and the germ, which is at the bottom of the endosperm. RobinsonLibrary contains color diagrams of the wheat plant and the kernel, a list of the fourteen species of wheat grown in the world and a history of wheat. Originally a wild grass, wheat was first developed into a yeast-leavened bread by the Egyptians between 2000 and 3000 BCE. It wasn’t introduced in the United States until 1777.