History Present Biological Charakteristics Attributes Grain Quality and Use
Soil, Climate and Temperature Requirements Cultivation and Manuring Crop Management Harvest Postharvest Processing and Storage


(Triticum monococcum L.)

Einkorn Einkorn


This crop is evolutionarily the oldest and the most primitive cultivated wheat. Einkorn was known in Troy - Bronze Age and in Middle Europe in Neolit. It survived in inaccessible African mountains, on Balkan Peninsula, in Pyrenees and in Caucasus.



In the Czech Republic an intensive research, evaluation and selection of the most suitable genotypes for organic farming are led. The research is focused on spring einkorn preferred in the past but there are winter forms also.


Biological Characteristics

Einkorn is diploid (2n=14) hulled wheat with frangible spike, which is distichous with awns and has breakable spindle. Stem is thin, soft, and susceptible to lodging.One floweret develops in one seed. The seed is smaller, narrow, squeezed from sides and stale.



Einkorn is very useful and promising plant breeding material for its resistance to disease (rusts, powdery mildew). The crop is suitable for low input systems - organic farming - because of its better adaptability in marginal areas (in comparison with other crops). It has a good ability to compete with weed. Einkorn is also valued for unique quality of grain and simple genome, which can provide an easy way to identify toxic fraction causing celiac disease.


Grain quality and Use

Grain contains 16-28 % of protein, 3-6 times more carotenoids than polyploid wheats and no anti-nutritious compounds. It is easily digestible.


Einkorn grain is basic ingredient for wide range of healthy products - consumption of mature and/or immature and whole and/or crushed (milled) grains; whole-grain products (flat and yeast bread, porridges, flakes, müsli). Einkorn is used in beer production (Spain, Germany).


Einkorn can be fed to monogastric animals.


Straw is used in basketry and for making gifts and souvenirs.


Soil, Climate and Temperature Requirements

Present growing methods are poor and the choice is individual depending on site and variety. Einkorn doesn't require particular climate and soil conditions.


Cultivation and Manuring

Fields for growing einkorn are prepared similarly to common wheat.


Crop Management

Early spring sowing should be carried out into the well-firmed seedbed 3 or 4 cm deep. Grower should be careful with nitrogen dressing, which can cause excessive shooting and increase lodging of the crop.



It is necessary to adjust combine-harvester in order to catch released smaller grains of einkorn and one-seed spikelets too.


Postharvest Processing and Storage

Harvested grain (spikelets) should be separated from impurities. Spikelets if not used as a seed are dehusked. The most common method of removing the husk is abrading by abrasive wheels. There is some risk of damage of outer layer of the seed.