Bristle Oat (Avena strigosa Schreb.) – a weed or an useful plant?



The Avena genus covers nine species in Poland, including farmed common oat (Avena sativa), wild oat (A. fatua) – a dangerous spring cereal weed, and bristle (or black) oat (A. strigosa Schreb.), a forgotten species. Bristle oat was a valuable component of common oat yield growing on the weakest soils, and it had a status of a crop plant in Poland and in many European countries till 1950s. Chemical analyses of bristle oat caryopses validated the high nutritive value of this species, which had been previously noted by the farmers of the Podhale region. On average, bristle oat contains 27–52% more protein, 14–27% more fat and 38–72% more sugars than common oat. It is good for human consumption in the form of flakes, flour and boiled grains. Bristle oat is witnessing a revival as a valuable farming species, and its crops are subsidized. Key words: Avena strigosa Schreb., cultivation of bristle oat, composition of bristle oat caryopses
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