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Leersia oryzoides (Rice cutgrass)
Smith, R.W.

Leersia oryzoides

Leersia oryzoides (L.) Sw.

Rice Cutgrass, Rice Cut Grass

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Homalocenchrus oryzoides, Phalaris oryzoides

USDA Symbol: leor

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

Rice cut grass is a 2 1/2-5 ft., prickly-leaved grass. The asymmetrically-shaped inflorescence often stays tucked inside the leaf sheath. Flower clusters stay close to the slightly drooping branches of the perennial grass’ inflorescence.

This is considered a weed in the Southwest. The leaves are sharp-edged, which makes getting caught in a patch of Rice Cutgrass with bare legs is an unpleasant experience.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall.
Leaf: Dark Green

Bloom Information

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


USA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: NB , NS , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Que. to B.C., s. to Gulf Coast states, NM & CA
Native Habitat: Swamps; ditches; shores

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Aquatic: yes
Soil Description: Wet soil to standing water.
Conditions Comments: This is considered a "weed" in the Southwest. Getting caught in a patch of rice cut grass with bare legs is an unpleasant experience.


Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor)

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Least Skipper
(Ancyloxypha numitor)

Adult Food Source
Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Commercially Avail: yes

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:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0968 Collected Oct 6, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium


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


Record Modified: 2015-04-16
Research By: TWC Staff

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