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Common Name: Wild Oat

Other Names: Common Wild Oat

Species Name: Avena fatua L.

Plant Type: Grasses & Grass-like

Family Name: Poaceae





Plant Facts  
Origin Introduced, Europe
Duration Annual
Season Cool
Distribution in the U.S. Common throughout much of western North America
Distribution in Oklahoma Throughout the state



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics
    • Seedling leaves twist counter-clockwise when viewed from above the plant stem; small marginal hairs can be seen on leaf edges
    • A long pointed papery ligule arises from the leaf collar; spares hairs are found along leaf margins
    • Lemmas with a prominent awn up to 4 centimeters long
    • Twisted awn which bends at right angles and a horseshoe-shaped scar at its seed base
    • Seeds are yellow to black in color, narrowly oval, 1/4 to 1/2 inches long
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Sheath: Open
    • Blade: 1/8 to 5/8 inches wide
    • Ligule: Membranous
    • Stems: Erect, hollow
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Inflorescence: Open panicle, 4-18 inches long, drooping
    • Spikelets: Contain 2-3 florets which disarticulate above the glumes
    • Flower timing: June-August



Soil Type Varies
Habitat Spring-seeded small grain crop fields, roadsides, pastures and waste areas
Successional Stage Mid


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