|Oops! I looked at our area this morning and realized that I forget some
important stages to mention on Monday. Before I get into that, look at the red flags. The
wheat is creeping up on the new flags. I think the wheat will grow above the flags again.
What do you think?
Have you wondered what the yellow stuff off in the distance is? That is a winter annual crop, called canola. It belongs to the mustard family and some of its relatives are considered to be weeds in wheat. But this is a new crop for Kansas. It is used as a vegetable oil.
Lets look at the next picture and Ill catch up on what I forgot the other day.
|Here are the four upper most leaves on one stem. But there is one that is very important to the plants future. Can you guess which one Im talking about? If you look at the upper two leaves, the smaller of the two leaves or the one on the right is the most important leaf the plant has. It is called the flag leaf. It is the last leaf this stem will produce. There are no more leaves after this one. Generally, the flag leaf will first become visible when you can see two nodes on the stem. This flag leaf has not completely emerged from the whorl (upper part of the plant where leaves are coming out), so it isnt as big as its going to get. Look at the next picture.|
|The flag leaf in this picture is starting to grow away or up from the leaf
directly below it. Actually, the stem is elongating and that is causing the flag leaf to
move away from the other leaf. Are you wondering why it is called the flag leaf? Well, it
is the upper most leaf on the stem, so someone got the idea this leaf looked like a flag
on a flag pole. A flag sticks way up in the air and this leaf will too. And thats
why it is called the flag leaf. This leaf will contribute about 75 percent of the
nutrients that go into the wheat kernels. We are very concerned that the flag leaf stays
healthy because leaf diseases can damage leaves and grain yields will be reduced.
Are you wondering where the growing point or head is now? If you look where the second leaf below the flag leaf attaches to the stem, notice it is slightly swollen. You guessed it! Thats where the head is.