Northern Wild Rice

Other Common Names:

(Zizania palustris)


Northern wild rice has tall reed like stems, ribbon like leaves that float, and branching flowers with yellow to deep red fruits (edible grains).


Northern wild rice stalks are spongy, hollow, and reed like, growing three to six feet tall. They take root in soft, mucky sediment. Tapered leaves grow in clusters and are ribbon like, eight to 23 inches long, one-tenth of an inch to one and a half inches wide. Leaves have smooth edges and float on the surface of the water during late spring and early summer. Flowers branch out and can be nine to 23 inches long and nearly eight to 16 inches wide. The fruit is an edible grain, elongated, and yellow to deep red in color.


Northern wild rice can be found across most of the United States.


seeds, rhizomes