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Red Lammas

origin:United Kingdom   first record:1660   habit:Winter   grain colour:red/brown  references >>>  ID images >>>

includes wheats >>> Burwell >>> Clover's Red >>> Old Kent Red

BBA Red Lammas 2011 to 2014

Red Lammas is the classic red winter milling landrace wheat of England from the Tudor period to Napoleonic wars. First recorded by John Ray in 1660 and described by Ellis in 1774 as follows

Red Lammas. As Wheat is the King of Grain, so this Sort has been deemed, hitherto, The King of Wheats

Ellis also describes Red Lammas as being sown with Rough Chaff White (aka Kent Old Hoary) to make the best milling mix.

About us, it (Rough Chaff White) is more and more sown, as being a Sort that thrives well in our inclosed, poor, gravelly, chalky, and light loamy Soils ; and, by many, this, or any other of the white Wheats, is much sown in a Mixture with red or yellow Lammas, because this Wheat will help to keep off Blights from that, but is a most proper Sort to sell and grind with the red or yellow Lammas, by Reason one is of a short, brittle Nature, and the other tough; which prevents the White from running too much into small Bran

Red Lammas had several well known variants specifically Old Kent Red and Old Burwell - named from the village of Burwell on Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border where the best Red Lammas seed was reputed to come from. Clover's Red is mentioned by Le Couteur alongside Burwell as "Brown Lammas" types but seems probable this is synonymous with description as "Red Lammas" type.

After Napoleonic Wars with Enclosures and rising wheat imports, English growing of Red Lammas and wheat for milling in general was gradually replaced by higher yielding but poorer quality early cultivars often called "Prolific" from their prolific tillering or "Squarehead" from their typical compact square cross-section ear morphology more suited for animal fodder or biscuit manufacture see Varietal Innovation and the Competitiveness of the British Cereals Sector, 1760-1930

Reference #1

Catalogus plantarum circa Cantabrigiam nascentium by John Ray, 1660 LINK

Reference #2

The Modern Husbandman, Oct - Dec by William Ellis, 1744 LINK
"This by many is called Fire-wheat because it has a red Straw, a red Ear and a red Kernel; and it makes the whitest of Flour some are of Opinion because it has a thicker, more guttery, and tougher Skin than the pirky and white Sorts of Wheat cuts into larger Flakes of Bran than them and thus yields rather less but whiter Flour and more Bran however this is certain that red Lammas has not only a whiter Flour than these but a much softer and finer and often a bigger Body which makes it the most agreeable Sort for the greatest Quality and therefore is the fittest Wheat to sow on the best Land on Account of its fetching the best Price at Market."

Other reference

Varietal innovation and the competitiveness of the British cereals sector, 1760-1930 by John R. Walton, 1999 LINK

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


Clover's Red RCA (HUN) #RCAT004014

Clover's Red VIR (RUS) #k6263

Clovers Red IHAR (POL) #1405

Clovers Red IPK (DEU) #TRI 21468

Clovers Red IPK (DEU) #TRI 1129

Cower's Red Wheat CGN (NLD) #CGN04320

Cowers Red RICP (CZE) #01C0100799

Lammas AGG (AUS) #10756

Lammas VIR (RUS) #k21499

Lammas CGN (NLD) #CGN05550

Lammas IHAR (POL) #1724

Lammas Red IHAR (POL) #1725

Lammas Red IPK (DEU) #TRI 1126

Lammas Red IPK (DEU) #TRI 24440

Lammas Red CGN (NLD) #CGN04381

Michigan Amber VIR (RUS) #k5229

Michigan Amber USDA-ARS (USA) #CItr 11379

Michigan Amber GRU-JIC (GBR) #W6516

Old Burrel GRU-JIC (GBR) #W1168

Old Kent Red CGN (NLD) #CGN05630

Old Kent Red GRU-JIC (GBR) #W10033

Red IHAR (POL) #1227

Red Lammas IPK (DEU) #TRI 24664

Red Lammas AGG (AUS) #12108

Red Lammas GRU-JIC (GBR) #W0987

Red Lammas AGG (AUS) #10762

Red May USDA-ARS (USA) #CItr 5620

Red May USDA-ARS (USA) #CItr 12023

Red May VIR (RUS) #k22157