Avena sativa L.
common oat
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #9990)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Avena sativa
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Annual grass from fibrous roots; stems hollow, up to 100 cm tall.
Sheaths open; blades flat; ligules 2-4 mm long, membranous, short-hairy, rounded, the margins finely jagged and fringed with small hairs.
Inflorescence a large, open panicle, the branches pendulous; spikelets usually with 2 or sometimes, 3 florets; glumes 20-25 mm long, about equal, both usually surpassing the florets; lemmas lanceolate, the lower lemmas with awns arising just above the middle, the awns straight to slightly twisted or curved, up to 15 mm longer than the lemmas, the upper lemma awnless; lemmas much hardened and smooth to above midlength, the upper portions thickened, greenish and prominently ribbed, entire or very shallowly bilobed at the tips, the calluses smooth or sparsely bearded; rachillas not readily disarticulating between the florets, smooth or sparsely stiff-hairy, firm; anthers 3-4 mm long; lodicules linear, about 1.8 mm long.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Avena sativa

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
410 410 410
Slope Gradient (%)
35 35 35

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

45 45 45
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 4 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in


Habitat and Range

Dry to mesic fields, roadsides, railways and waste areas in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; infrequent in S BC; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Avena byzantina K. Koch
Avena fatua var. sativa (L.) Hausskn.
Avena hybrida Peterm. ex Rchb.
Avena sativa var. orientalis (Schreb.) Alef.