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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Seed - cooked[1][2][3][4]. 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. Used as a cereal, it is probably best known as the breakfast cereal porridge but it can also be used in many other ways. The seed can be sprouted and used in salads[5], the grain can also be ground into a flour and used in making biscuits, sourdough etc[5]. It is fairly low in gluten, and so is not really suitable for making bread[6]. The seed is an especially good food for convalescents and people with stomach problems[7]. Oat flour produced in the dry-milling operation currently is used as an antioxidant in food products[6]. Oat flour inhibits rancidity and increases the length of shelf-stability of fatty foods such as vegetable oils[6]. Whilst cultivated oats average about 17% protein, scientists screening thousands of samples of cultivated and wild species found that the wild species averaged 27% with some forms ranging up to 37%[6].

Oats are also one of the cereals used as a basic ingredient for making whisky[8]. Oats are harvested when grain is in the hard dough stage and straw is slightly green (when the moisture content of the grain is 14% or less). If too ripe, shattering causes seed loss. Crop is usually cut with binder and left in the field until dry and then threshed. In mechanized societies, oats are combined directly from standing grain. For this type of harvesting, crop must be fully ripe, usually when the straw has lost greenness and glumes have become white. Crop may be combined from windrow, or cut with a header harvester when the crop is dead ripe. Seeds are threshed and cleaned by winnowing, and artificially dried to below 14% moisture for storage[6]. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute[4][5].

An edible oil is obtained from the seed, it is used in the manufacture of breakfast cereals[9].

Unknown part

Material uses

The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch, paper-making, building board and thatching[10][11][12]. It has also been used as a stuffing material for mattresses and these are said to be of great benefit for sufferers from rheumatism[8][13]. Some caution is advised in its use as a mulch since oat straw can infest strawberries with stem and bulb eelworm.

Oat hulls are basic in production of furfural, a chemical intermediate in the production of many industrial products such as nylon, lubricating oils, butadiene, phenolic resin glues, and rubber tread compositions[6]. Oats hulls supply about 22% of the required furfural raw materials. Rice hulls, corn cobs, bagasse, and beech woods make up much of the remainder[6]. Oats hulls are also used in the manufacture of construction boards, cellulose pulp and as a filter in breweries[6]. A handful of the grains, thrown into the bath water, will help to keep the skin soft because of their emollient action[8].

An extract of oat straw prevents feeding by the striped cucumber beetle[6].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Whilst used mainly as a food, oat grain does also have medicinal properties[14]. In particular oats are a nutritious food that gently restores vigour after debilitating illnesses, helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood and also increases stamina[13].

The seed is a mealy nutritive herb that is antispasmodic, cardiac, diuretic, emollient, nervine and stimulant[15][8][16][17]. The seed contains the antitumor compound b-sitosterol and has been used as a folk remedy for tumours[6]. A gruel made from the ground seed is used as a mild nutritious aliment in inflammatory cases, fevers and after parturition[15]. It should be avoided in cases of dyspepsia accompanied with acidity of the stomach[15]. A tincture of the ground seed in alcohol is useful as a nervine and uterine tonic[15]. A decoction strained into a bath will help to soothe itchiness and eczema[13]. A poultice made from the ground seeds is used in the treatment of eczema and dry skin[14]. When consumed regularly, oat germ reduces blood cholesterol levels[14]. Oat straw and the grain are prescribed to treat general debility and a wide range of nervous conditions[254. They are mildly antidepressant, gently raising energy levels and supporting an over-stressed nervous system[13]. They are of particular value in helping a person to cope with the exhaustion that results from multiple sclerosis, chronic neurological pain and insomnia[13]. Oats are thought to stimulate sufficient nervous energy to help relieve insomnia[13]. An alcoholic extraction of oats has been reported to be a deterrent for smoking, though reports that oat extract helped correct the tobacco habit have been disproven[6]. A tincture of the plant has been used as a nerve stimulant and to treat opium addiction.

In an article riddled with errors, the Globe (February 28, 1984) reports that oat straw, usually taken as a tea, is a sexual nerve tonic[6].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow in situ in early spring or in the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Avena sativa. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Oats are an easily grown crop that succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in full sun[18]. They prefer a poor dry soil[19] and tolerate cool moist conditions[7]. Plants are reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 20 to 180cm, an average annual temperature range of 5 to 26°C, and a pH of 4.5 to 8.6[6]. They thrive on a wide range of soils of ample, but not excessive, fertility[6]. Well-drained neutral soils in regions where annual rainfall is 77cm or more are best[6]. Loam soils are best, especially silt and clay loams[6]. The plants are also reported to tolerate aluminium, disease, frost, fungus, herbicides, hydrogen fluoride, mycobacterium, nematode, rust, SO2, smut, and virus[6].

Oats have a long history of cultivation as a food crop and are believed to be derived chiefly from two species, wild oat (A. fatua L.) and wild red oat (A. sterilis L.)[6]. They are widely cultivated for their seed, used as a source of protein, as well as for hay, as winter cover, and are used as a pasture crop in the growing or 'milk' stage[6]. Oats are long-day plants, grown in cool climates in the Old and New World temperate zones, succeeding under variable conditions[6]. Oats usually are not very winter hardy, although winter hardy cvs have been developed[6]. A very hardy plant according to another report, the cultivated oat succeeds as far north as latitude 70°n[20] and is widely cultivated in temperate zones for its edible seed, there are many named varieties[5]. Although lower yielding than wheat (Triticum spp.), it is able to withstand a wider range of climatic conditions and is therefore more cultivated in cooler and wetter areas[7]. Hot dry weather just before heading causes heads to blast and yields of seed to decrease[6]. Self-pollination is normal, but cross-pollination by wind also occurs[6]. If you wish to save the seed for sowing, each variety should be isolated about 180 metres away from other varieties[6]. Oats grow well with vetch but they inhibit the growth of apricot trees[21][22].

Oats are in general easily grown plants but, especially when grown on a small scale, the seed is often completely eaten out by birds. Some sort of netting seems to be the best answer on a garden scale.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Avena sativa. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Avena sativa.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Avena sativa
Genus
Avena
Family
Gramineae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
2
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
?
Herbaceous or Woody
?
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
?
Mature Size
Fertility
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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"image:Illustration Avena sativa0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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References

  1. ? 1.01.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.1 Harrison. S. Wallis. M. Masefield. G. The Oxford Book of Food Plants. Oxford University Press (1975-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.14.2 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.4 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  6. ? 6.006.016.026.036.046.056.066.076.086.096.106.116.126.136.146.156.166.176.186.196.206.216.226.236.246.256.26 Duke. J. Handbook of Energy Crops - (1983-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.17.27.3 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.58.6 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.1 Carruthers. S. P. (Editor) Alternative Enterprises for Agriculture in the UK. Centre for Agricultural Strategy, Univ. of Reading ISBN 0704909820 (1986-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
  13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.413.513.613.7 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
  14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  15. ? 15.015.115.215.315.4 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
  17. ? 17.017.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
  18. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  19. ? Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2. Thompson and Morgan. (1988-00-00)
  20. ? Brouk. B. Plants Consumed by Man. Academic Press ISBN 0-12-136450-x (1975-00-00)
  21. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
  22. ? Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (1993-00-00)
  23. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

"image:Illustration Avena sativa0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

Facts about "Avena sativa"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyGramineae +
Belongs to genusAvena +
Has binomial nameAvena sativa +
Has common nameOats +
Has drought toleranceTolerant +
Has edible partUnknown part + and Seed +
Has edible useCoffee +, Oil + and Unknown use +
Has environmental toleranceDrought +
Has fertility typeSelf fertile + and Wind +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has hardiness zone2 +
Has imageIllustration Avena sativa0.jpg +
Has lifecycle typeAnnual +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useBiomass +, Cosmetic +, Fibre +, Mulch +, Paper +, Repellent + and Thatching +
Has mature height0.9 +
Has mature width0.1 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAnticholesterolemic +, Antispasmodic +, Cancer +, Cardiac +, Diuretic +, Emollient +, Nervine +, Nutritive +, Poultice + and Stimulant +
Has primary imageIllustration Avena sativa0.jpg +
Has search nameavena sativa + and oats +
Has shade toleranceNo shade +
Has soil ph preferenceVery acid +, Acid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy +, Clay + and Heavy clay +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
Has taxonomy nameAvena sativa +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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