Zizania aquatica

Common Name(s): Wild rice

Native to Florida

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This native grass has a very large, erect, branched inflorescence which produces edible grains. Zizania aquatica is occasionally found growing in streams and spring runs from the northern counties south to the central peninsula of Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). It blooms in the fall and occurs almost always (estimated probability 99%) under natural conditions in wetlands.

Wild-rice is a very large grass. Stems to 9 ft. tall, thick, spongy; leaf blades strap-like, 3-4 ft. long, to 2 in. wide, smooth, margins sharply toothed; inflorescence erect,very large, at stem tip, to 2 ft. long and 1 ft. across, spreading branches and branchlets, lower branchlets drooping (male flowers), upper branchlets pointing stiffly upward (female flowers); spikelets and flowers numerous; fruit ovoid grain, yellow to reddish