|Avena fatua spikelets in Ollantaytambo, Peru|
I eat a bowl of oatmeal everyday, and during our trip to Peru I tried to keep the same daily routine. Thus, we visited small grocery stores and super mercados in search of this food item, as well as water and various veggies.
During one such trip I was startled to notice that the oatmeal packages in the store shelves were all labeled "Avena"!
|Oatmeal for 1.30 soles!|
Avena of course is the genus name of the oats, including the cultivated species Avena sativa. I have been boning up on my Spanish, and it was a small revelation to find out that in that language, oatmeal is known by the genus name of the plant.
|Avena fatua in the Moras Salt mines in the Sacred Valley of Peru|
|Spikelets in A. fatua, some showing empty glumes|
I've found this custom eminently laudable and something that would help (in a very small way) introduce laypeople to scientific nomenclature. Wouldn't it be interesting if rice is called "Oryza", or barley called "Hordeum"?
|Seeds between dried glumes|