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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lolium temulentum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Lolium
Species: L. temulentum
Binomial name
Lolium temulentum

Lolium temulentum, typically known as darnel or cockle, is an annual plant that forms part of the Poaceae family and part of the Lolium genus. The plant stem can grow up to 1 meter tall, with inflorescence in the ears and purple grain. It grows plentifully in Syria and Israel.

It usually grows in the same production zones as wheat and is considered a weed. The similarity between these two plants is so extensive that in some regions cockle is referred to as false wheat. It bears a close resemblance to wheat until the ear appears. The ears on the real wheat are so heavy that it makes the entire plant droop downward, but L. temulentum, whose ears are light, stands up straight. The wheat will also appear brown when ripe, whereas the darnel is black.
It parasitizes wheat fields. The French word for darnel is "ivraie" (from Latin "ebriacus"), which expresses that weed's characteristic of making one feel poisoned with drunkenness, and can cause death. This characteristic is also alluded to in the scientific name (Latin temulentus = drunk).

The traditional Anglo-Saxon surname "Darnell" comes from those who grew this weed for recreational purposes. The darnel can be infected by an endophytic fungus of the genus Neotyphodium, and the endophyte-produced, insecticidal loline alkaloids were first isolated from this plant.[1]

It is also gives its name to another edible grain, aquatic cockle, known as "false rice."

The plant is mentioned in Horace's Satire 2.6 (eaten by the Country mouse while he serves his guest fancier foods) and in the Parable of the Tares in the Gospel of Matthew:

Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Matthew 13:30

Darnel is also mentioned as one of the many ingredients in Mithradate, which is supposed to have been used by Mithridates VI on a daily basis to render him immune to poisoning.


  1. ^ Schardl CL, Grossman RB, Nagabhyru P, Faulkner JR, Mallik UP (2007). "Loline alkaloids: currencies of mutualism". Phytochemistry 68: 980–996. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2007.01.010.  


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Lolium temulentum


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Commelinids
Ordo: Poales
Familia: Poaceae
Subfamilia: Pooideae
Tribus: Poeae
Genus: Lolium
Species: Lolium temulentum


Lolium temulentum L.


  • Species Plantarum 1:83. 1753
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. [1]

Vernacular names

한국어: 독보리
日本語: ドクムギ
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Lolium temulentum on Wikimedia Commons.


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