Wild Rice (Zizania aquatica)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Wild Rice
Zizania aquatica
Gramineae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Seed – cooked[257]. It can be used as a cereal. A staple food of the native North American Indians[95, 159], the long black delicious grain is eaten as an expensive gourmet meal[183]. It is used in the same ways that rice is used and 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, thickening soups etc[183]. It is a very rich source of riboflavin and is also rich in niacin[160].

    The base of the culms is used as a vegetable[74].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – it must not be allowed to dry out or it will quickly lose its viability, usually within 4 weeks[136]. Store collected seed in jars of water in a cool place such as the salad compartment of a fridge. Sow the seed in spring. Immerse the pots so that they are covered by about 5cm of water. It is best to sow 2 seeds per 7cm pot in a greenhouse in order to get early germination and a better chance of a crop[136]. Pot on as required and plant out about 30cm square in May, by which time the plants should be 20 – 30cm tall[136]. Larger quantities can be sown in shallow boxes and plunged into the pond etc in May.
Easily grown in water up to 60cm deep, it tolerates water up to 1 metre deep though it prefers growing in water 10 – 20cm deep[136]. It dislikes stagnant water[20]. A very ornamental plant[1], it grows, flowers and fruits well in the lake and lily pond at Kew[136]. Plants can self-sow in Britain, but the seed tends to germinate too late to mature a fresh crop of seed in this country, so the plant gradually dies out[136]. It would possibly maintain itself in areas such as the Isle of Wight, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk[136]. It is a very hardy plant, the seed survives being frozen in ice[136]. Plants grown at a 30cm square spacing can produce 20 or more flowering shoots[136]. Often collected from the wild, this plant is now being cultivated commercially for its edible seed[183]. It is considered a gourmet’s delicacy and is sold in many parts of the world, usually in health food shops and usually at a very high price[136]. Plants require protection from wild fowl otherwise they will devour the young growth[136]. Plants are occasionally sown by lakes and rivers in Europe to attract wild fowl[50].
Eastern N. America – New Brunswick to Manitoba, south to Florida and Texas.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.