Avena fatua

Avena fatua_wildoat_ JM Di Tomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: wild oats

Avena fatua (wild oat) is a winter annual grass (family Poaceae) that is a common agricultural weed. It grows in most grassland sites within the state, particularly in sandy/poor soils, often on the road verges. It is one of the annual grasses that was introduced as a forage species and has replaced the native perennial grasses.

Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

    Other Resources

    • USDA PLANTS database -
      Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
    • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from the UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium.
    • CalFlora - Distribution information by county based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
    • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.

    Symposium Presentations

    • Carey, C. and S. C. Hart (2011). Alteration of nitrogen cycling processes by exotic annuals in a California grassland. Cal-IPC 2011 Symposium. Tahoe City, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
    • Minnich, R. A. (2004). California’s fading wildflower legacy. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
    • Marler, M. J. and R. M. Callaway (2000). Role of mycorrhizae in Centaurea invasions. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2000. Concord, CA.
    • Devender, T. R. V., R. S. Frlger, et al. (1997). Exotic plants in the Sonoran desert region, Arizona and Sonora. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '97. Concord, CA.
    • Minnich, R. A. (1994). Effects of exotic plants on three California ecosystems. California Exotic Pest Plant Symposium '94. Sacramento, CA.

    Cal-IPC News Articles

    • None for this species.