Aug. 20, 2018

wild rice, Zizania palustris

The wild rice is blooming here. Large stands of it are very beautiful, and can be seen from some distance. Seen here are the staminate flowers, which occur on branches a little below the top of the plant. The pistillate flowers that produce the grain are on erect spikes at the top of the plant. The grain was traditionally eaten here and in eastern Asia, where other species grow. Wild rice is now popular in many places. It is grown commercially, particularly in Australia and Hungary. Here the main producers are California and Minnesota. I discovered yesterday that as with other grasses, I am allergic to the pollen. This species grows wild in every state except AK, AL, FL, GA, HI, LA, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT, VA, and WY, and in BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PE, QC, and SK. Lenawee Co MI, 8/19/18.