teff

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teff,

annual plant, Eragrostis tef, of the grassgrass,
any plant of the family Poaceae (formerly Gramineae), an important and widely distributed group of vascular plants, having an extraordinary range of adaptation. Numbering approximately 600 genera and 9,000 species, the grasses form the climax vegetation (see ecology) in
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 family (Poaceoe), whose seeds are a staple grain in Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is a gluten-free cereal grain, high in iron, protein, calcium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. One of the earliest cultivated plants, teff was first domesticated in Ethiopia more than 3,000 years ago; it is now also grown in India, Australia, and the United States. It has a mild, nutty flavor and can be black, brown, red, or ivory. Ground into flour, teff is traditionally used in a flatbread called injera. Teff is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Poaceae.

Teff

 

(Eragrostis Teff), an annual plant species of the family Gramineae. Teff has a powerful fibrous root system and leafy shoots. The culm, which is 60–160 cm tall, is slender, solid, and smooth. The inflorescence is a many-spiked panicle measuring 15–35 cm long. The fruit is an ovate caryopsis.

Teff is known only in cultivation. It has long been raised as a cereal crop in mountainous regions of Africa and as a feed crop in India, Australia, the South African Republic, the USA, and the USSR. (There are experimental plantings in the Ukraine and the Northern Caucasus.) Teff is thermophile and drought resistant; the seeds sprout at 10°–12°C. Cultivation is most successful on sandy loams. Teff grows very rapidly; it grows well after mowing and yields two or three crops. It is cut for hay when the panicles first appear, and for green feed somewhat earlier. Two cuttings yield 140–150 quintals per hectare (ha) green mass, 35–45 quintais per ha hay, and 4–8 quintals per ha seed. One hundred kilograms of hay contain about 42 feed units and about 5 kg digestible protein. Teff is readily eaten by all species of farm animals in uncured form and as hay.

REFERENCES

Kormovye rasteniia senokosov i pastbishch SSSR, vol. 1. Edited by I. V. Larin. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Vul’f, E. V., and O. F. Maleeva. Mirovye resursy poleznykh rastenii: Spravochnik. Leningrad, 1969.

N. K. TATARINOVA

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