Tall oatgrass

Grass profile

  • Latin Name: Arrhenaterum Elatius
  • Arrhén: greek male
  • Athér, Atéros: greek grandeur
  • Family: Sweetgrasses / Poaceae
  • Type of forage: Grasses
Tall oatgrass , French ray grass - Arrhenaterum elatius

Common smooth / tall oatgrass – Arrhenaterum Elatius

The smooth oatgrass is a persistent grass growing in horsts with deep, yellowish rhizomes. The stalks become 50 – 150 cm long. The leaves are up to 1 cm wide and 40 cm long and green.

The flowers usually sit in two-flowered spikelets. These are arranged in loose or contracted panicles. The glumes are membranous and tapered, the lower glume (hermaphroditic flower) is long and clearly visible, the upper one (male flower) carries only a very short awn, often hidden in the glumes.

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Occurrence ordinary smooth oats

The usual oatgrass is the characteristic type of the oat meadows (Arrhenaterion elatioris) and widespread in the restrained zones of Europe and West-Asia. Originally, it originates from the northern Mediterranean area.

It prefers two-door to three-door mowing meadows on alternately damp to dry soils in warm locations and tolerates shading only conditionally.

Effect of common smooth oats

The economic importance of the common smooth oat is great, as it provides good yields as mowing grass for hay production. However, it soon disappears with frequent pruning and heavy grazing. Due to its saponin content (bitter taste), it is not popular as green fodder.


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