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origin:England, United Kingdom   first record:1650   habit:Winter  references >>>  ID images >>>

includes wheats >>> Red Lammas >>> White Lammas >>> Yellow Lammas

BBA Lammas

Red Lammas is certainly the most prominent English millable landrace wheat prior to the 19th century recorded by the first modern botanist, John Ray in 1650 in his Catalogus plantarum circa Cantabrigiam nascentium and highly praised as the "king of wheats" by Ellis in 1753.

The group also includes "White Lammas" which again is mentioned by John Ray and Ellis and "Yellow Lammas" mentioned by Ellis but these seem to have petered out of English cultivation earlier than Red Lammas. However White Lammas became the first popular wheat to be grown by settlers in Australia and Yellow Lammas it seems was transferred to Southern Carolina in the USA and went on to become popular as "Red May" and "Michigan Amber". White Lammas also entered the USA from Australia to become "Pacific Bluestem" (and under various other names). These lines in turn went into later USA wheat breeding so that the Lammas remains an important constituent in the pedigree of modern wheats.

It seems reasonable to assume that these three lines named after their grain colour were all once part of a single landrace type separated out by farmers. The common element in the group is a relatively long lax slightly tapering ear with smooth glume and beardless except a few trace short awns at top occasionally. Plant is at the high end of typical heritage wheat height with a strong slightly tapering straw only slightly bending towards top when mature. In the case of "Red Lammas" straw and ear can be more or less red on ripening though this colouring is soluble and so can disappear in wet summers.

The origin of the name "Lammas wheat" it is commonly assumed refers to the "Lammas" festival which nowadays is August 1st with the implication that Lammas wheat should be ready for harvest by then but this is certainly not true in most seasons. There is some question whether August 1st is the ancient timing of "Lammas day" which may explain the discrepancy

Reference #1

Catalogus plantarum circa Cantabrigiam nascentium by John Ray, 1660 LINK

Reference #2

The Modern Husbandman, Oct - Dec by William Ellis, 1744 LINK
"Red Lammas As Wheat is the King of Grain so this Sort has been deemed hitherto The King of Wheats for having deservedly been under the Reputation of producing the whitest and finest of Flour as is well known in particular to the Londoners"

Other reference

The agriculturistís manual, forming a report of Lawsonís agricultural museum in Edinburgh by Peter Lawson, 1836 LINK

"Lammas or Red English Wheat
Froment ble Lammas ou Ble rouge Anglais Fr
Originally from England to the north of France where it has been cultivated with a considerable degree of success but although taken from a northern to a southern latitude it is found less adapted for withstanding the winter in the neighbourhood of Paris than the common red wheat No 19. This can only be accounted for by the winter in that part of France being generally colder than in England Form of the ears more waved than in those of the last mentioned sort also thinner and not so much reclined or bent to the side Spikelets bright red towards the extremity lighter and more of a copper colour towards their insertion into the rachis.
The French consider this sort as yielding the finest sample of any of their red wheats It is however liable to be shaken when fully ripe and should therefore be cut a day or two before arriving at full maturity In the quality of its sample this variety very much resembles that of the Red Kent to which it also bears a marked resemblance in its general character so that they are very probably of the same origin and owe any distinction more to the effects of a difference in climate soil or culture than to any thing else."

Identification images

Red Lammas TR24440 link
Lammas CGN05550 link
Lammas Red CGN04381 link
Red Lammas UK 987 link
Old Kent Red link
Old Burwell link
Michigan Amber link
white lammas link


Arkansas No. 105 USDA-ARS (USA) #PI 565390

AUS 11138 AWCC (AUS) #11138

Clover's Red VIR (RUS) #k6263

Clover's Red RCA (HUN) #RCAT004014

Clovers Red IHAR (POL) #1405

Clovers Red IPK (DEU) #TRI1129

Clovers RED IPK (DEU) #TRI21468

Cower's Red Wheat CGN (NLD) #CGN04320

Cowers Red RICP (CZE) #01C0100799

Early Harvest AWCC (AUS) #180

Early MAY AWCC (AUS) #10839

Early Premium AWCC (AUS) #24689

Early Premium USDA-ARS (USA) #CItr 11858

Firwhill VIR (RUS) #k55542

Firwhill AWCC (AUS) #2414

Firwhill USDA-ARS (USA) #PI 107608

Flint VIR (RUS) #k22113

Lambrigg White Lammas AWCC (AUS) #3666

Lambrigg-White Lammas AWCC (AUS) #11423

Lammas IHAR (POL) #1724

Lammas AWCC (AUS) #10756

Lammas CGN (NLD) #CGN05550

Lammas VIR (RUS) #k21499

Lammas RED IHAR (POL) #1725

Lammas Red IPK (DEU) #TRI1126

Lammas Red CGN (NLD) #CGN04381

Lammas RED IPK (DEU) #TRI24440

Michigan Amber RICP (CZE) #01C0101464

Michigan Amber VIR (RUS) #k5229

Michigan Amber IHAR (POL) #4121

Michigan Amber GRU-JIC (GBR) #6516

Michigan Amber ACW (CHE) #440

Michigan Amber USDA-ARS (USA) #CItr 11379

Michigan Amber IPK (DEU) #TRI2364

Michigan Amber IPK (DEU) #TRI4475

Michigan Amber IPK (DEU) #TRI15905

Michigan Amber CGN (NLD) #CGN05571

Michigan Amber NORDGEN (SWE) #NGB11001

Michigan Amber IPGR (BGR) #1982-TRT-AE-1129

Michigan Amber IPGR (BGR) #1983-TRT-AE-413

Michigan Amber IPK (DEU) #TRI21824

Michigan Amber BVAL (AUT) #BVAL-220009

Michigan Amber BVAL (AUT) #BVAL-230030

Michigan Amber IPGR (BGR) #1998-TRT-AE-45

Michigan Amber ITA266 (ITA) #SALT8802051

Michigan Amber AWCC (AUS) #3012

Michigan Amber AWCC (AUS) #90044

Michigan Amber USDA-ARS (USA) #PI 351203

Michigan Amber CIMMYT (MEX) #T878

Michigan Amber * (Chancellor)8 GRU-JIC (GBR) #6525

Michigan Amber 10 GRU-JIC (GBR) #6479

Michigan Amber 144r 3 AWCC (AUS) #20209

Michigan Amber 144R3 NORDGEN (SWE) #NGB11267

Michigan Amber 29-1-1-1 IPK (DEU) #TRI25131

Michigan Amber 29-1-1-1 USDA-ARS (USA) #CItr 11770

Michigan Amber 7 GRU-JIC (GBR) #6478

Michigan Amber Selection IHAR (POL) #396

Michigan Amber Selection IPK (DEU) #TRI6903

Michigan Amber Selection RCA (HUN) #RCAT000678

Michigan Amber Selection IPGR (BGR) #1980-TRT-AE-586

Michigan Amber Wageningen IPK (DEU) #TRI25005

Michigan Amber X .. ITA266 (ITA) #SALT8802052

Michigan Amber/Cc 8 Pm 5 ITA349 (ITA) #ROMGA11364

Old Burrel GRU-JIC (GBR) #1168

Old Kent Red CGN (NLD) #CGN05630

Oregon VIR (RUS) #k40564

Pacific Bluestem VIR (RUS) #k22025

Pacific Bluestem AWCC (AUS) #3137

Pacific Bluestem USDA-ARS (USA) #CItr 4067

Pacific Bluestem ACW (CHE) #310

Red May VIR (RUS) #k22157

Red May USDA-ARS (USA) #CItr 12023

Red May USDA-ARS (USA) #CItr 5620


Red May IPK (DEU) #TRI14041

Red may RCA (HUN) #RCAT001814


Red MAY AWCC (AUS) #3243

Red MAY AWCC (AUS) #3244

Red May USDA-ARS (USA) #CItr 5336

Redhard VIR (RUS) #k33074

Redhart AWCC (AUS) #7594

Redhart USDA-ARS (USA) #CItr 8898

Shepherd AWCC (AUS) #3368

Shepherd AWCC (AUS) #3370

Shepherd USDA-ARS (USA) #CItr 6163

Wagga White Lammas AWCC (AUS) #1601

Wagga White Lammas AWCC (AUS) #6119

Wagga White Lammas AWCC (AUS) #1600

White Australia AWCC (AUS) #3538

White Australian VIR (RUS) #k5746

White Australian IPK (DEU) #TRI22920

White Australian USDA-ARS (USA) #PI 45424

White Lammas AWCC (AUS) #1658

White Lammas AWCC (AUS) #1659

White Lammas AWCC (AUS) #12102

White Lammas USDA-ARS (USA) #PI 114639