Scientific Name: Zizania
Description: There are three species of wild rice that grow in the United States. Zizania aquatic, Zizania palustris var. and Zizania texana. These aquatic plants grow in the soft substrate of shallow water, particularly in slow moving streams. The grain of the rice provides food for migratory waterfowl and a number of other birds and animals.
Size: Can grow to 10 feet tall
Habitat: Wild rice grows in streams, rivers or lakes. It prefers shallow water with a slow current and muddy substrate.
Range: Can be found in Canada, parts of the Great Lakes, Texas, Florida and the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts.
Conservation Status: Wild rice species continue to suffer from habitat loss. The Texas (Zizania texana) species is listed as endangered and is at risk for extinction.
by Doreen Cubie, published in National Wildlife magazine
The Red Lake Band of the Chippewa has made conserving wildlife and habitat—the tribe's lifeblood—one of its top priorities. Key to this was restoring native wild rice to the wetland ecosystem. Read more >>
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