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Wild rye. Secale cereale var multicaule. Johannisroggen

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  • Wild rye. Secale cereale var multicaule. Johannisroggen

    I started a small stand of this rye ( which can be grown perennially by cutting it down each year or biennially by cutting it down in the first year and harvesting in the second. I started mine on March 2020 and harvested the grain a month or so ago.

    I'm intrigued to find two kinds of grain produced. by the most vigorous plants - if indeed the longer and darker is a grain. I can't find any information about this online. I take it from photos seen and from the seed I received from Dreschflegel that the smaller lighter grain is the seed and the grain to mill for flour. But I'd like to know whether the long dark grains have a use and what they are physiologically, if that's the right word.

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  • #2
    Is that ergot? Please do not eat that batch of rye.
    Last edited by triffid; 03-11-2021, 18:52. Reason: links added


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      More than likely ergot, a timely warning.

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      You can take away, sort, sift to get rid of it and this is what commercial growers do. If you take the ergot grains out, the rest is ok to eat.

    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for your further research. I did take out the ergot grains and put them on the bonfire but had wondered whether it was so toxic that I might have had some on hands, clothes etc. Perhaps you need to eat a significant amount to suffer the dire effects noted elsewhere.

  • #3
    I know nothing about rye, but googled Johannisroggen and came across this photo. The lighter grains seem to be the right ones.


    • #4
      Well, thank you both very much. Triffid for knowing about Ergot and Galina for that particularly helpful though alarming Hawaiian Botany Department link . The photo here

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      from that web page is exactly how it was growing. It's interesting that until comparatively recently the dark outgrowths were considered to be part pf the plant - which is just what I assumed too.

      This has been puzzling me for some time so I'm very grateful to have it explained, especially as it can be so devastating in its effect.
      Last edited by Jang; 03-11-2021, 19:51.