Wild Einkorn (Triticum urartu), the source
of the 'A' genome, occurs naturally
in the Fertile Crescent area of South West Asia, often with a second
einkorn wheat, Triticum boeoticum. Here
they grow in the open areas of oak park-woodland. When ripe, the
long awned ears readily fragment into single spikelets as an aid
to seed dispersal.
Both wild einkorn varieties were collected for food by early hunter-gatherers
despite their fragile ears fragmenting readily into separate spikelets.
The hard shell or 'hull' made extracting the thin grain from the
spikelets a laborious process.