Nonproprietary / Public
Blue Beard is a landrace durum wheat, selected for its attractive appearance by Jim George from a group of landrace varieties from Iran that were evaluated at UC Davis. It is a spring type and has awns and pale yellow seed color. Blue Beard has a spectacular dark blue head, which always attracts attention in the field. It grows well in the Sacramento Valley and offers the possibility of a supply for whole wheat pasta makers as well as bakers who know how to make pleasing whole durum wheat breads. The whole wheat dough does not darken on standing and the starch quality is similar to that of Kronos, a standard for pasta wheat quality. It is appealing to wheat weavers and straw artists as well as florists, due to the interesting heads and long stem. It has good drought tolerance and tall plant height (can grow up to 5 feet in height). At the time of evaluation by the UC Regional Testing program it was later heading than conventional cultivars (about two weeks later than Desert King), averaged about 53 inches in plant height (and was more susceptible to lodging than most conventional cultivars), and was resistant to powdery mildew and Septoria tritici leaf blotch, and moderately resistant to stripe rust. It was evaluated as Entry 1630 in the UC Regional Durum Wheat Testing program in 2009 for late fall planting in the Central Valley and southern desert areas of California.