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Avena fatua L.
Wild Oat

Sp.Pl. 1:80 (1753)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Erect annual, grass-like or herb, 0.6-0.9 m high. Fl. green, Aug to Dec. Brown clayey sand, heavy, red loam.

Grazyna Paczkowska, Descriptive Catalogue, 22 October 1993


IBRA Regions
Avon Wheatbelt, Esperance Plains, Geraldton Sandplains, Gibson Desert, Jarrah Forest, Murchison, Swan Coastal Plain, Yalgoo.
IBRA Subregions
Eastern Murchison, Fitzgerald, Geraldton Hills, Katanning, Lateritic Plain, Merredin, Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest, Tallering.
IMCRA Regions
Abrolhos Islands, Central West Coast, WA South Coast.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Albany, Beverley, Busselton, Cambridge, Capel, Chapman Valley, Dalwallinu, Dardanup, Dowerin, Esperance, Goomalling, Greater Geraldton, Kellerberrin, Koorda, Kwinana, Manjimup, Merredin, Mingenew, Moora, Mount Magnet, Mount Marshall, Narembeen, Narrogin, Ngaanyatjarraku, Northam, Perenjori, Ravensthorpe, Swan, Toodyay, Trayning, Wanneroo, Wongan-Ballidu, Yalgoo.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Annual, caespitose. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Mammals, agricultural machinery, possibly wind (local disperal only). Photosynthetic Pathway. C3. Seedbank persistence. 6 months to 6 years, shorter if not buried. Fire response. Mature plants likely killed, but post-fire conditions favour seed germination and growth.

Notes. Highly competitive, matures rapidly and sheds seed early. Produces prolific seed. Approximately 40% of the seedbank germinates after opening rains and a further 30% later in the season, with germination continuing until the end of spring. Seeds have a large germination window and will germinate in temperatures of 10-26.5 degrees celsius. Self-pollinated with some out-crossing. Most seeds fall within 1-2 metres of the parent plant. Seeds have a hygroscopic awn, with varied dormancy depending on burial depth. Has staggered germination. Smoke can stimulate seedling emergence. Persistence is longer in undisturbed soil and deeper burial favours longer dormancy. Dead material is reported to be allelopathic. Has recorded widespread herbicide resistance.

Additional information. Origin. Mediterranean/North Africa, Eurasia, Europe. History of use/introduction. Contaminant of grain. Similar exotic species. Avena barbata.

Suggested method of management and control. Spray at 3-5 leaf stage with Fusilade® Forte at 16 ml/10 L + wetting agent or for generic fluazifop-p (212g/L active ingredient) 10ml/10L or 500ml/ha + wetting agent. Repeat treatment over following 2 years. Prevent seed production and seedbank inputs each year. In small infestations hand removal may be feasible. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Active Growth           Y Y Y Y Y Y    
Germination         Y Y Y Y Y Y Y    
Flowering                 Y Y      
Fruiting                   Y Y Y  
Optimum Treatment               O Y Y O   3-5 leaf stage

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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