Elements of Practical Agriculture p. 227. (1834)

David Low
Prof. of Agriculture in the University of Edinburgh


With respect to their uses in agriculture, they may be divided into two classes, distinguished by the colour of their seeds, red and white; and these again may be distinguished by their spikelets being smooth or hairy, the one being termed thin or smooth-chaffed, and the other thick or woolly-chaffed. Of these classes, the white are superior in the quality of their produce; the red are the more hardy: and, in general, the thin and smooth-chaffed are preferred to the woolly and thick-chaffed.

Winter-wheat is sometimes termed spring-wheat. This merely arises from the period of sowing. If it is sown in spring, it is termed spring-wheat; if previous to winter, Lammas or winter-wheat. This circumstance has perplexed some writers, who have evidently drawn distinctions between the winter and spring wheat of the farmer which do not exist. But it is a curious fact, that wheat, by being sown in spring, changes its habit with relation to the period of ripening. The produce of wheat sown in spring acquires the habit of ripening earlier than the produce of wheat sown in autumn; hence the farmer, when he sows wheat in spring, should sow the produce of that which had been already sown in spring, and not the produce of that which had been sown in autumn. This change in the habit of ripening takes place in the case of all the cerealia, and many other cultivated plants.

The minor varieties of any species of wheat are not permanent in their character, though, under given conditions, they will remain unchanged for an indefinite period. Under other circumstances, however, they degenerate; and hence particular kinds that were once valued have now ceased to be so.

The above statement is from the 1834 edition. The 2nd edition was available by 1823, but I haven't been able to verify that the same comment was included there, or in the 1st ed.