• A consistently high yielding purple wheat from an early to late autumn sowing
• Niche market wheat with appreciably higher value than other wheat types
• Medium to tall cultivar with moderate standing power


TYRIAN is a high yielding purple winter wheat, bred in New Zealand by Plant & Food Research and under commercial release by PGG Wrightson Grain (PGW Grain). TYRIAN has higher yield potential than Amethyst and better disease resistance. TYRIAN is accepted by the flour mills, with good colour and other grain attributes for use in kibbling. Purple wheat is a niche market for which contracts are strongly advised.


As it has a winter habit TYRIAN is best suited to plantings before the end of May, however it has a low vernalisation requirement and can be planted as late as June. TYRIAN typically yields 10-15% over Amethyst. Results from PGW trials indicate that yield advantage and grain quality relative to Amethyst falls off quickly if sowing is delayed past May.

PGW TYRIAN Canterbury grain quality (4 year mean)


Kernel weight (1000 seed weight) 47
Test weight (kg/hl) 72
Protein content (%) (N% x 5.7) 11.8
Screenings (%) 1.2
Falling number (sec) 329

TYRIAN should be given priority at harvest to preserve the colour intensity and to protect falling number.

Time of drilling

TYRIAN should be drilled in April in order to achieve maximum yield potential. It is a true winter cultivar so requires drilling in the autumn or winter in order to vernalise. It performs best planted before mid-May and must not be planted later than the last week of July.

Speed of development

TYRIAN is slow to develop compared with Amethyst. When planted between May and July TYRIAN will head out approximately one week later than Amethyst. If planted later than this the difference will rapidly widen until the vernalisation requirement is not met and TYRIAN will not head out until it is too late (after mid-December).

Month planted

Typical heading dates for TYRIAN in Canterbury

May Mid-November
July Early – Mid December

TYRIAN is an intermediate to late maturing cultivar at harvest.

Seed rate and tillering characteristics

TYRIAN tillers very well and this can compromise kernel weights (TGW), so care needs to be taken with plant populations to protect grain quality. Target plant populations should be within the standard PGW Grain wheat guidelines.

Soil type, rotation and geography

TYRIAN is suitable for all New Zealand winter wheat growing regions where good grain quality, especially high kernel weight, can be achieved. It is not recommended as a second-year cereal option. As well as the usual risks from take-all, contamination from non-purple wheat volunteers could compromise end-user quality.

Disease resistance

TYRIAN has a good general disease resistance profile but is moderately susceptible to Septoria leaf blotch. Considering this disease profile fungicide programmes should be tailored to target Septoria leaf blotch early, especially at T0 and T1 timings. Please contact your local PGW Representative for site specific recommendations.

Disease resistance results:


PGW disease nursery ratings
(9 highly resistant, 1 highly susceptible)

Stripe rust 6
Leaf rust 4
Septoria leaf blotch 5
Powdery mildew (9)
Fusarium head blight n/a

( ) = Limited data available n/a = no data available

Straw strength and height

TYRIAN is a medium to tall cultivar with moderate standing power. In most situations, this variety will require a robust plant growth regulator (PGR) programme to prevent lodging. The actual programme is determined by a combination of sowing date, seed rate, nitrogen use, crop thickness and yield potential. As with any cultivar, do not apply if the crop is under any form of stress. Please contact your local PGW Representative for site specific recommendations.

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