This has been the coolest experiment I think I have ever done with the kids. It has been really long term already (we first planted in April), but what an amazingly educational and fun thing to do! I HIGHLY recommend planting the grains that you can find around you and seeing what comes of it in your area. (This is the link to the rest of the story and how we started out.)
Our newest fruiting grain has been the Oats... they just sprouted a couple days ago.
They are much different than the wheats, barley, and rye. The millet hasn't fruited yet, and the corn is still very much concentrating on the stalk of the plant, but I can see that if this weather keeps up, those two will be fruiting as well.
The rye has a very flat fruiting head. It reminds me of a braid of hair... flat, but textured.
The white wheat has a very bumpy fruit. It also has these little white pollen things that come out of it. I wish I was better at describing these parts, but honestly, I don't know any more about it than the kids. So hopefully, by the time we are done, I will be able to name all the parts of the grains too! ;)
The barley is the most "amber waves of grain" plant out there. It has long hairs at the end of the fruit and really beautifully symmetrical heads of grain. It waves in the sun and is already turning yellow. Once again, I really have to find the time to research how to get these grains to make bread.
The red wheat is very similar to the white... but the little pollen heads are even more prevalent and the seeds tighter in the fruit head. It is a slightly taller plant too. Not sure if that is how/when we grew it, or if it is actually a taller plant than the other wheat... but it has been fun to watch them all side by side.