Wheat is an annual plant of Grammeae family. It belongs to genus Triticum. Although as many as 18 species of wheat have been described and recognized, only a few are of agricultural importance. They are discussed as under.
1. Emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum Schuh L.): This is reported to be grown in certain areas of southern India i.e. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kar- nataka and Andhra Pradesh. It is good for the South Indian dish uppuma vu.
2. Macaroni wheat (Triticum durum des/): Cultivation of macaroni wheat in India is considered to be very old. It is the best wheat for drought conditions or under restricted irrigation conditions of Punjab, M.P., Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh. It is used for semolina (i,e. suji or rawa, semya and sphagetti).
3. Common bread wheat(T. vulgare Hist): It is a typical wheat of alluvial soils of Indo-Gangetic plains i.e. Punjab, U.P., Bihar and parts of Rajasthan. The bulk of Indian crop, therefore, consists of this type. The prominent varieties are K-65, K.68, C-13, Pb-591 and C-306.
4. Indian dwarf wheat(Triticum spherococcum Mihi): This belongs to the club wheat of Western countries. This is grown in limited areas of India and Pakistan. These are characterised by very short and compact heads having shorter grains. They contain 42 chromosomes.
5. Mexican dwarf wheat(Triticum aestivum): This is presently grown in almost all the wheat growing zones. This wheat was introduced in India by Dr N.E. Borlaug of Mexico. Now-a-days, it is the most widely grown wheat species in India. It covers more than 87 % of the total wheat growing area of India, followed by durum wheat and dicoccum wheat. The common wheat (T. aestivum) which is good for chapati making and bakery products is grown in whole of North India and also in central and South India.