Abstract Morphological features, granule composition, and physicochemical properties of waxy wheat starch were compared with those of normal wheat starch. The morphologies and granule populations were found to be similar for the two starches. However, waxy wheat starch contained a smaller proportion of B-type granules, had a larger average granule diameter, and a higher degree of crystallinity than normal wheat starch, as measured by particle size analysis and differential scanning calorimetry. These differences resulted in a higher gelatinization temperature, transition enthalpy, peak viscosity, breakdown, swelling power, lower peak viscosity temperature and final viscosity in waxy wheat starch. These points suggest that waxy wheat starch should have greater resistance to retrogradation during cooling and higher water-holding capacity under dry conditions. Highlighting the differences in physicochemical properties of waxy and normal wheat starches should help point toward effective applications of waxy wheat starch in the food industry.