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Zizania aquatica (Annual wildrice)
Cressler, Alan

Zizania aquatica

Zizania aquatica L.

Annual Wildrice, Wild Rice

Poaceae (Grass Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A robust annual grass usually growing in flooded sites and producing large flowering panicle bearing conspicuous male flowers below the female flowers, producing rice above.

American Indians harvest the rice in Minnesota. It is also grown commercially there and in California.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Stems up to about 15 feet tall, often much shorter. Usually emergent.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AL , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TX , VA , VT , WI
Canada: MB , NB , ON , QC
Native Distribution: Nova Scotia east to Manitoba, southwest to Minnesota, south to Nebraska and Texas.
Native Habitat: Marshes, ponds, lakes, borders of sluggish rivers.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Clay, Loam, Sand


Warning: This plant contains a toxic alkaloid, present in the bulb and foliage, causes vomiting, breathing difficulties, and coma in humans. Livestock can be poisoned by grazing on this plant or by feeding on hay containing any part of it. Sensitivity to a toxin v
Attracts: Birds

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Broad-winged Skipper
(Poanes viator)

Adult Food Source
Learn more at BAMONA

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Zizania aquatica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Zizania aquatica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Zizania aquatica


Record Modified: 2015-05-08
Research By: TWC Staff

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