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Wild Oats

Avena fatua

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed along Mesquite Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona. April 2008.

ANNUAL: Annual spring grass with several stems rising to 1½ meters tall.

FRUIT: The developing seeds soon weigh down the spikelets supported on fine, flexible stalks. Awns about a cm long on the lemmas.

LEAVES: Leaf blades are about a cm wide.

RANGE: Fairly common in spring in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico along washes, ditch banks and at roadsides. Disturbed soils. Native to the Old World but long-naturalized across much of North America. Hybridizes with cultivated oats, Avena sativa.

FLOWERS: Two or three green florets per spikelet.


Poaceae -- Grass Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2008