Wheat development stages

Wheat development stages

This training program was created to help the user to score phenological development of wheat. The photos used in the training program and the identification of developmental stages were realized by the team DEAP, UMR de Génétique Végétale, of the INRA centre of Le Moulon. Part of this work was also funded through an ARVALIS collaboration.

As a user, you will be shown pictures of wheat leaves and spikes. You will have to determine which stage corresponds to the observed plants. Four different developmental stages are addressed through different quizzes:

  •  flag leaf emergence,
  •  heading,
  •  flowering
  • ripening.

The different stages, with a short description, are presented below (click on the photos to magnify them!):

Name of the stage



Flag leaf emergence

Emergence of the ligule of the flag leaf, last leave produced by a tiller before spike emergence

Access to the training program (12 questions) HERE

 Heading date

Emergence of the spike, recorded when half of the spike is out of the leaf sheath

Access to the training program (12 questions) HERE

Flowering date

Protrusion/emergence of anthers out of the glumes of the spike (pollination)

Access to the training program (9 questions) HERE

Ripening scores

Evolution of spike, straw and flag leaf color, turning to yellow, used to score the end of grain filling period NOT YET AVAILABLE


 Special thanks to Romain Angeleri, who performed all the nice photos during a BTS training period, as well as to Stephanie Thépot, PhD in DEAP team and key supervisor of this work.

Modification date : 25 April 2023 | Publication date : 17 January 2014 | Redactor : IPM network, contributor Jérôme Enjalbert.