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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


Wheat Flowering Growth Stage

Wheat Flowering

Wheat continues to go through the heading and flowering growth stages across central and northern Ohio. Depending on the weather and the variety, flowering usually occurs about 3-5 days after full head emergence (Feekes 10.5) – earlier under warmer conditions and delayed by up to 5 or more days after heading under cooler conditions. Flowering is marked by the extrusion of anthers from the spikelets; the reason for which this process is also referred to as anthesis. Flowering will continue over the next 7-10 days. The identification of this growth stage is very important for the management of Fusarium head blight (head scab) with fungicides.     

1- Closely examine the heads (also called the spike) of primary tillers at multiple locations in the field for the presence of anthers – often seen as a yellowish (or other color) part of the flower hanging from the spikelet;

2- If no anthers are seen, then your wheat may still be at the heading growth stage, Feekes 10.5;

3- If the first few anthers are seen hanging from florets/spikelets in the central portion of the spike, your wheat is at Feekes 10.5.1 - early flowering or early anthesis;

4- If anthers are seen hanging from florets/spikelets in the central and top portions of the spike, your wheat is at Feekes 10.5.2 - mid-flowering or mid-anthesis;

5- If anthers are seen hanging from florets/spikelets along the entire length of the spike, your wheat is at Feekes 10.5.3 - late-flowering or late-anthesis;

Note: When trying to identify these growth stages, based your assessment on the presence of fresh (brightly colored) anthers, since dried, discolored, and spent anthers may remain hanging from the spike well after Feekes 10.5.3 and well into grain filling stages of development. This can be misleading.

Click on the links below for information on management practices that are recommended (or not recommended) at these growth stages:

Link to video: 

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.