Avena sativa L.

oat

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Oat is the widely-grown cereal, feed and forage crop. It may escape from cultivation, and can be found in fields, roadsides and disturbed soils throughout New England and North America.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf blade width
3–25 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
18–50 mm
Glume relative length
both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
Awn on glume
the glume has no awn
One or more florets
there is more than one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
15–30 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
Leaf ligule length
2–8 mm
Anther length
1.7–4.3 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    1.7–4.3 mm
    Anther number
    3
    Awn on glume
    the glume has no awn
    Floret lower bract texture
    • the lemma is hard and firm
    • the lemma is thin and flexible
    Floret number
    2
    Floret types within spikelet
    all the florets within a spikelet are similar
    Glume relative length
    both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
    Glume veins
    7 or more
    Inflorescence arrangement
    the spikelets are uniform
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    • the inflorescence axis is arched or curved outward
    • the inflorescence axis is straight
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence length
    60–400 mm
    Inflorescence length to width ratio
    1.2–2.7
    Inflorescence type (general)
    the spikelets are borne on stalks or on branches
    Inflorescence type (specific)
    the inflorescence is branched, and the branches do NOT both grow from the same side of the plant AND look like spikes
    Inflorescence width
    50–150 mm
    Inforescence position
    the spikelets are mainly carried at the end of the stem
    Lemma awn base
    • the awn is attached at the lower half of the lemma (it emerges from near the base of the lemma)
    • the awn is attached at the upper half of the lemma
    Lemma awn coiled
    the lemma awn is straight or twisted, but not coiled one half turn
    Lemma awn length
    15–30 mm
    Lemma awn number
    • the lemma has no awn
    • the lemma has one awn on it
    Lemma awn orientation
    • the awn of the lemma is straight
    • the awn of the lemma on dried or older plants is curved or bent outwards
    Lemma base hairs
    the lemma is hairless or feels just a tiny bit rough at the base
    Lemma cross-section
    the lemma is flat or rounded if you cut across the midpoint
    Lemma hairs
    the lemma is hairless between the veins
    Lemma keel hairs
    the keel of the lemma is hairless
    Lemma marginal vein hairs
    the marginal vein of the lemma is hairless
    Lemma surface
    the surface of the lemma is relatively smooth (not counting any longitudinal veins or hairs)
    Lemma tip
    • the lemma tip has a ragged edge
    • the lemma tip is split into two or more points
    Lemma vein number
    • 5
    • 7 or more
    Lower glume length
    18–32 mm
    One or more florets
    there is more than one floret per spikelet
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is an extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet disintegration
    the spikelet breaks off above the glumes, so that after the florets fall off, the glumes remain
    Spikelet length
    18–50 mm
    Spikelet pedicel
    the spikelets have pedicels
    Spikelet position
    the spikelets emerge from both the upper and lower halves of the inflorescence branches
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
    Upper glume length
    18–32 mm
    Upper glume shape
    the upper glume is widest at or below the middle
  • Fruits or seeds
    Groove on seed
    the caryopsis has a groove running most of its length
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives only a single year or less
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf basal lobe hairy
    NA
    Leaf blade hairs
    the leaf blade is hairless, but it may have tiny prickles that give it a sand-papery feel
    Leaf blade length
    8–45 cm
    Leaf blade texture
    the leaf blade is rough and sandpapery
    Leaf blade width
    3–25 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    2–8 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of a membrane
    Leaf margin glands
    there are no glands along the edges of the leaf blade
    Leaf sheath closed around stem
    the margins of the leaf sheath are overlapping and not fused together except in the basal half (or less)
    Leaf sheath hair type
    there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    Leaf sheath hairs
    there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Plant height
    35–180 cm
    Stem orientation
    the stems are upright
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts

Wetland Status

Occurs only in non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: UPL)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Avena fatua
Avena strigosa

Synonyms

  • Avena fatua L. var. sativa (L.) Hausskn.

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Avena

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