Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Avena sativa
cultivated oats

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Fields, roadsides, wastelots, and other disturbed areas.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Introduced from the Mediterranean region

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Glabrous annuals, the culms to 2 m. tall in some varieties, hollow.


Sheaths open; ligules 2-4 mm. long, puberulent, obtuse; blades 3-10 mm. broad, smooth or scabrous.


Inflorescence a large, open panicle, the spikelets pendulous; spikelets usually 2-flowered, the rachilla firm, not readily disarticulating; glumes 20-25 mm. long, subequal, exceeding the florets; lemmas hardened, thickened, greenish, smooth to above midlength and prominently veined above, glabrous, entire at the tip, the callus usually naked; awn lacking on the second floret, attached about the middle of the first floret, nearly straight, up to 15 mm. long; lodicules linear, 1.8 mm. long.



Accepted Name:
Avena sativa L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 79. 1753. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Avena byzantina K. Koch
Avena fatua L. var. sativa (L.) Hausskn.
Avena sativa L. var. orientalis (Schreb.) Alef.
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Avena sativa checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Avena sativa information.

E-Flora BC: Avena sativa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Avena sativa photos.

USDA Plants: Avena sativa information.

8 photographs:
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