Wild Oats (Avena fatua)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Wild Oats
Avena fatua

The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch, paper-making and thatching[171]. Some caution is advised in its use as a mulch since oat straw can infest strawberries with stem and bulb eelworm.

  • Medicinal Use

    The seeds are diuretic, emollient and refrigerant[240].

  • Edible Use

    Seed – cooked[2, 46, 61, 85, 95, 161]. The seed ripens in the latter half of summer and, when harvested and dried, can store for several years. It has a floury texture and a mild, somewhat creamy flavour. It can be used as a staple food crop in either savoury or sweet dishes. The seed can be cooked whole, though it is more commonly ground into a flour and used as a cereal in all the ways that oats are used, especially as a porridge but also to make biscuits, sourdough bread etc. The seed can also be sprouted and eaten raw or cooked in salads, stews etc.

    The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow in situ in early spring or in the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.
Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in full sun[200]. Prefers a poor dry soil[134]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 6.5. A parent of the cultivated oat, A. sativa[57, 171] but the seeds are somewhat smaller and yields lower. This species could be of importance in breeding programmes for the cultivated oats (A. sativa), where it could confer drought tolerance, disease resistance and higher yields. Oats are in general easily grown plants but, especially when grown on a small scale, the seed is often completely eaten out by birds. Some sort of netting seems to be the best answer on a garden scale.
Europe to Asia. Naturalized in Britain[17].

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.