Page author: Don Knoke
Avena fatua
wild oat

Distribution: Common introduction in most of western North America.

Habitat: A weed in grain fields, roadsides and waste ground.

Flowers: May - September

Origin: Introduced

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Annuals, the culms to 1 m. tall, hollow.


Sheaths open; ligules 3-6 mm. long, obtuse to acute, puberulent; blades 3-10 mm. broad, scabrous, often with a few long hairs.


Inflorescence a large, open panicle, the spikelets pendulous; spikelets usually 3-flowered, the rachilla readily disarticulating between the florets, strongly bearded; glumes membranous, the first 7-nerved, the second 9-nerved; lemmas densely bearded on the callus, the upper portion greenish, but the tip membranous and acutely bilobed for 1 mm.; first 2 florets with twisted, strongly-bent awns up to 4 cm. long; lodicules 2 mm. long.



Accepted Name:
Avena fatua L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 80. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Avena fatua L. var. glabrata Peterm.
Avena fatua L. var. vilis (Wallr.) Hausskn.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Avena fatua in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Avena fatua checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Avena fatua atlas page.

CalPhotos: Avena fatua photos.

USDA Plants: Avena fatua information.

24 photographs:
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