|DESCRIPTION: It is a grass reaching up to 90 cm in height. It is in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by the wind. USE: The seed is edible 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 flour and used as a cereal in all the ways that oats are used, especially as 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 hull is incompletely attached to the grain, yielding a naked seed easily upon threshing. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. 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. GROWING PERIOD: Annual. COMMON NAMES: Naked oat. FURTHER INF: Found in southern Europe and Central and East Asia in dry wasteland, cultivated ground and meadows, especially on heavier soils.