Herb: Wild Oats
Latin name: Avena fatua
Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)
Medicinal use of Wild Oats:The seeds are diuretic, emollient and refrigerant.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:A common weed of arable land and waste ground.
Edible parts of Wild Oats:Seed - cooked. The seed ripens in the latter half of summer and, when harvested and dried, can store for several years. It has a floury texture and a mild, somewhat creamy flavour. It can be used as a staple food crop in either savoury or sweet dishes. The seed can be cooked whole, though it is more commonly ground into a flour and used as a cereal in all the ways that oats are used, especially as a porridge but also to make biscuits, sourdough bread etc. The seed can also be sprouted and eaten raw or cooked in salads, stews etc. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.
Other uses of the herb:The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch, paper-making and thatching. Some caution is advised in its use as a mulch since oat straw can infest strawberries with stem and bulb eelworm.
Propagation of Wild Oats:Seed - sow in situ in early spring or in the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.
Cultivation of the herb:A common weed of arable land and waste ground.
Known hazards of Avena fatua:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.