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Wild Rice

Wild Rice

Zizania aquatica


Wild rice is a tall grass that averages 1 to 1.5 meters in height, but may reach 4.5 meters. Its grain grows in very loose heads at the top of the plant and is dark brown or blackish when ripe.

Habitat and Distribution

Wild rice grows only in very wet areas in tropical and temperate regions.

Edible Parts

During the spring and summer, the central portion of the lower sterns and root shoots (the white parts - only when tender) are edible. Remove the tough covering before eating.

During the late summer and fail, collect the straw-covered husks. Dry and parch the husks, break them, and remove the rice. Boil or roast the rice and then beat it into flour.

Steve's notes:

Wild rice is still collected in some areas by beating the seed heads over an open canoe and letting the bottom of the canoe fill with the seeds.

Watch for any dark growths in the seed heads, as this can be a poisonous fungus.


The Ultralight Backpacking Site | Wild Rice