Tufted annuals. Leaves flat. Inflorescence a panicle. Spikelets large, (1–)2(–7)-flowered; florets falling individually or united; glumes 2, 3–11-nerved, persistent, subequal, papery, longer than florets; lemma 5–9-nerved, firm, bidentate (the lateral teeth sometimes awned), usually with a geniculate, dorsal awn; palea 2-nerved, equal to lemma.
About 27 species, from the Mediterranean, northern Africa, Europe and western Asia; 6 introduced in Australia, all of these in Victoria.
Avena sativa L. (Oat) is an important cereal grown in temperate regions around the world. Most other species are weeds of this and other cereal crops and now common also along roadsides nearly throughout the state.