Avena fatua by Paula Knoll Inflorescence 2 Spikelets
Avena fatua
Wild Oats
Images © Paula Knoll 2006

POACEAE - Grass Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, Riverside County 2/26/2006

Identification & text by Tom Chester: The Avena fatua flower has two long glumes, the bracts on the outside that are longer than everything else except the awns. Just inside each glume is a lemma, with a third lemma sometimes in the middle, between the other two lemmas. The awns come from the back of each lemma, beginning near the middle of their length.

The images above show two distinguishing features of A. fatua: the presence of 3 florets where A. barbata usually only has 2 florets (but sometimes A. fatua only has 2 florets as well). Another key feature to distinguish this from A. barbata is the teeth on the lemma. in A. barbata, all lemmas have teeth ~2.0 mm long whereas A. fatua, as in the images above, one lemma has teeth ~1.0 mm long; the other lemma has teeth ~0.2 mm.