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Useful Temperate Plants

Avena fatua

L.

Poaceae

+ Synonyms

Anelytrum avenaceum Hack.

Avena ambigua Schönh.

Avena cultiformis (Malzev) Malzev

Avena intermedia Lindgr.

Avena intermedia T.Lestib.

Avena japonica Steud.

Avena lanuginosa Gilib.

Avena ludoviciana glabrescens (Durieu ex Godr.) Husn.

Avena ludoviciana glabrescens Durieu ex Godr.

Avena meridionalis (Malzev) Roshev.

Avena nigra Wallr.

Avena occidentalis Durieu

Avena patens St.-Lag.

Avena pilosa Scop.

Avena sativa fatua (L.) Fiori

Avena sativa sericea Hook.f.

Avena septentrionalis Malzev

Avena sterilis Delile ex Boiss.

Avena sterilis glabrescens (Durieu ex Godr.) Husn.

Avena sterilis glabrescens (Durieu ex Godr.) Malzev

Avena vilis Wallr.

Common Name: Wild Oats

Avena fatua
Plants thriving along the edge of a wheat field
Photograph by: Matt Lavin
Creative Commons License
Avena fatua Avena fatua Avena fatua Avena fatua

General Information

Avena fatua is an annual, tufted grass with erect to ascending stems 30 - 150cm long.
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine.
This is a widespread, noxious weed, considered to be among the world's worst agricultural weeds. It is found especially in fields of wheat and cultivated oats but also grows in other cultivated crops and on wasteland. Originally native to Europe and C and SW Asia, it has now spread throughout temperate regions of the world[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.

Range

Macaronesia; widespread throughout temperate Eurasia; N. Africa - Morocco to Egypt.

Habitat

A common weed of arable land and waste ground[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
57
Title
Plants for Man.
Publication
 
Author
Schery. R. W.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Fairly readable but not very comprehensive. Deals with plants from around the world.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height1.50 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Avena fatua is a very versatile plant, with geographical forms adapted to local climates and conditions. It can grow in any region where wheat or oats are grown. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 12 - 20°c, but can tolerate 2 - 30°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -15°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at -1°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 600 - 1,000mm, but tolerates 290 - 1,600mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil in full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Prefers a poor dry soil[
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 6.5.
Presumed by some to be a parent of the cultivated oat, Avena sativa[
57
Title
Plants for Man.
Publication
 
Author
Schery. R. W.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Fairly readable but not very comprehensive. Deals with plants from around the world.
,
171
Title
Economic Botany.
Publication
 
Author
Hill. A. F.
Publisher
The Maple Press
Year
1952
ISBN
-
Description
Not very comprehensive, but it is quite readable and goes into some detail about the plants it does cover.
] but the seeds are somewhat smaller and yields lower. Other evidence points to Avena sterilis as being the wild ancestor of Avena sativa, whilst Avena fatua as a weedy derivative[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. Hybrids between Avena sativa and Avena fatua with hairy florets or well-developed awns may occur where the two species grow together[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
Oats are in general easily grown plants but, especially when grown on a small scale, the seed is often completely eaten out by birds. Some sort of netting seems to be the best answer on a garden scale.

Edible Uses

Seed - cooked[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
85
Title
Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains.
Publication
 
Author
Harrington. H. D.
Publisher
University of New Mexico Press
Year
1967
ISBN
0-8623-0343-9
Description
A superb book. Very readable, it gives the results of the authors experiments with native edible plants.
,
95
Title
Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada.
Publication
 
Author
Saunders. C. F.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1976
ISBN
0-486-23310-3
Description
Useful wild plants of America. A pocket guide.
,
161
Title
Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
Publication
 
Author
Yanovsky. E.
Publisher
U.S. Depf of Agriculture.
Year
 
ISBN
-
Description
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
]. The seed ripens in the latter half of summer and, when harvested and dried, can store for several years. It has a floury texture and a mild, somewhat creamy flavour. It can be used as a staple food crop in either savoury or sweet dishes. The seed can be cooked whole, though it is more commonly ground into a flour and used as a cereal in all the ways that oats are used, especially as a porridge but also to make biscuits, sourdough bread etc. The seed can also be sprouted and eaten raw or cooked in salads, stews etc.
The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Medicinal

The seeds are diuretic, emollient and refrigerant[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
].

Other Uses

The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch, paper-making and thatching[
171
Title
Economic Botany.
Publication
 
Author
Hill. A. F.
Publisher
The Maple Press
Year
1952
ISBN
-
Description
Not very comprehensive, but it is quite readable and goes into some detail about the plants it does cover.
]. Some caution is advised in its use as a mulch since oat straw can infest strawberries with stem and bulb eelworm.

This species could be of importance in breeding programmes for the cultivated oats (Avena sativa), where it could confer drought tolerance, disease resistance and higher yields.

Propagation

Seed - sow in situ in early spring or in the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-10-18. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Avena+fatua>

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