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Inflorescences

Dissections:
Avena fatua var.sativa

Line drawings

AVENA L. Oat
Plant hermaphroditic, caespitose, annual. Culms erect or decumbent, glabrous; internodes hollow, terete. Leaves basal and cauline, not distinctly distichous; sheaths terete, margins open; auricles absent; ligules membranous; blades flat or involute, linear, lax. Panicles open, primary branches ascending. Spikelets solitary, laterally compressed , disarticulation above glumes, awned or awnless, pedicellate (usually pedulous); florets 2-6, reduced floret at apex or absent, callus hairy (pointed), rachilla not extended beyond upper floret; glumes 2 (large), 3-11-veined, equal, longer than first floret, glabrous, awnless or mucronate; lemmas 5-9-veined, coriaceous or indurate, glabrous or hairy, apex bifid, awned or awnless; awns dorsal, awns straight or geniculate; veins scabrous; paleas 2-veined, awnless, glabrous. Stamens 3; anthers yellowish or tan. Caryopses brown with pericarp free, dorsiventrally compressed, elliptic. Base chromosome number x=7.

A small genus of about 27 species found in temperate areas. Our taxa are introduced from Europe and the Mediterranean area. One species (A. fatua var. sativa) is an important cereal crop. The other taxa are disturbance species.