Avena abyssinica granulata Chiov.
Avena affinis P.J.Bergius ex Steud.
Avena byzantina solida (Hausskn.) Maire & Weiller
Avena fatua ludoviciana (Durieu) Fiori
Avena fatua sterilis (L.) Fiori & Paol.
Avena fatua trichophylla (K.Koch) Griseb.
Avena ludoviciana Durieu
Avena macrocalyx Sennen
Avena macrocarpa Moench
Avena melillensis Sennen & Mauricio
Avena nutans St.-Lag.
Avena persica Steud.
Avena sativa ludoviciana (Durieu) Fiori
Avena sativa sterilis (L.) De Wet
Avena sativa trichophylla (K.Koch) Griseb.
Avena sensitiva Voss
Avena solida (Hausskn.) Herter
Avena sterilis ludoviciana (Durieu) Husn.
Avena syriaca Boiss. & Balansa
Avena trichophylla K.Koch
Avena turonensis Tourlet
Common Name: Sterile Oats
Avena sterilis is an annual grass producing a cluster of decumbent to ascending culms 30 - 180cm long[
The plant is related to the cultivated oats and, like that species, produces an edible seed. It is sometimes harvested from the wild or along with other cereal crops when growing wild with them. Occasionally it is cultivated, though yields are lower than for the commonly cultivated oats.
This is a highly invasive, noxious weed of arable land, especially fields of cereals, native to the Mediterranean region and SW Asia, but now widespread in warm-temperate regions of the world[
Macaronesia; Mediterranean, E. Europe; W. Asia - Turkey, Caucasus, central Asia, Afghanistan, Himalayas; Africa - Morocco to Egypt, NE Africa, Arabia
Dry wasteland, cultivated ground and meadows, especially on heavier soils[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Originally from Mediterranean and semi-arid climates, Avena sterilis can succeed in a range of climates from cold temperate to subtropical, higher elevations in the tropics and also semi-arid[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 12 - 32°c, but can tolerate 2 - 36°c[
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -10°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at -1°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 - 800mm, but tolerates 290 - 1,200mm[
Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in full sun[
]. Tolerant of heavy soils[
] and poor soils[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 - 7.5, tolerating 4.5 - 8[
Occasionally cultivated for its edible seed, the yields are lower than those of Avena sativa[
]. It is probably a parent of the cultivated species of oats[
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.
Seed - cooked[
]. 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.
The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch, paper-making and thatching[
]. 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 value in any breeding programme for the cultivated oats (Avena sativa) where it could confer disease resistance and higher yields.
Seed - sow in situ in early spring or in the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.