Knowledge Hub Article

Wild Oats - Occurrence

In the UK, there are two main species which frequently occur as weeds of arable crops.

 

Common or Spring Wild Oat (Avena fatua)
  • Occurs throughout England; more scattered distribution in Scotland and Wales.  Recorded in 55% of the 2852 10 x 10 km grid squares surveyed for the Atlas of the British Flora (2002).  See map.
  • Germinates mainly in spring (March/April) but with a variable, and sometimes considerable, amount of autumn germination too (mainly Sept/Oct) 

Source: The New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. C. D. Preston, D.A. Pearman and T.D. Dines, 2002 (Oxford University Press)

Winter Wild Oat (Avena sterilis ssp. ludoviciana)
  • Less common and mainly found within 50 – 100 miles of Oxford where it was first recorded in the wild in 1910.  Recorded in 10% of the 2852 10 x 10 km grid squares surveyed for the Atlas of the British Flora (2002), but probably under-reported.  See map.
  • Germinates mainly in autumn and winter, from October to early March, and is more tolerant of freezing conditions than common wild-oat.

Source: The New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. C. D. Preston, D.A. Pearman and T.D. Dines, 2002 (Oxford University Press)

Both species may occur within a single field, sometimes in mixture but sometimes in discrete, separate patches