E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Avena sativa L.
common oat
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #9990)

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Distribution of Avena sativa
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Species Information

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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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

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

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: IDF(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References