This species is cultivated as a cereal crop (oats) in north-temperate regions of the world, and also as a green fodder crop. Genetic evidence points to Avena sterilis
as the wild ancestor of A. sativa
, and A. fatua
as a weedy derivative. Hybrids between A. sativa
and A. fatua
with hairy florets or well-developed awns may occur where the two species grow together.