Herbs and Other Plant Species of the World's Boreal Forests

World Boreal Trees

Terminology | Pictorial

Zizania aquatica
Wild Rice
Poaceae (Grass Family)

Wild Rice plant A tall grass growing in flooded sites to a height of 90 - 300 cm.


Distinguishing Features - Leaves: broad blades, 50 - 100 cm long. Flowers: borne in large panicle, bearing conspicuous male flowers below the female flowers, 1.3 - 2 cm long; scales exclose stamens and pistil in separate spikelets. Fruit: a dark-colored, elongated grain, 1.3 - 2 cm long.


Native to North America; from the northern end of Lake Winnipeg southward to Gulf of Mexico, and eastward to the Atlantic Coast; most common in southern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario; also northern Minnesota; in marshes, ponds, lakes, along slow-moving rivers.

Wild Rice Notes

North American Indians, especially the Ojibwa, have always harvested Wild Rice in Canada and Minnesota. It is now grown commercially there and many other locations, even as far south as California.

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