Wild Rice

Ojibway: Manomin
Latin: Zizania Palustris L.Wild-Rice-2

Common Names

  • Annual Wildrice
  • Chiang Ts’Ao
  • Chiao Mi
  • Chiao Pai
  • Chiao Ts’Ao
  • Indian Wild Rice
Description

A robust large aquatic grass with water depth. It produces submersed, floating, and aerial leaves.

Flowers

It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or ?female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.

Wild-Rice-1Height

Annual growing to 3.5 m by 0.2 m (11.5-0.6 ft.) at a fast rate.

Habitat

Shallow waters and lakes, preferring a slow moving current. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neural and basic (alkaline) soils. Although it cannot grow in the shade, it can grow in water.

Range

Eastern North America – New Brunswick to Manitoba. south to Florida and Texas.

Discussion

The seed is cooked and eaten. It is a staple food of the First Nations and is used in the same ways as rice. It is sometimes added to rice dishes to impart its subtle flavour. The seed can also be ground into a meal and used in making bread or thickening soups. It is a very rich source of riboflavin and is also rich in niacin. The base of the culms is sued as a vegetable. This plant is not found at the mounds site, but it is an important plant for sustenance.