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Wild Rice (Zizania) Germplasm Resources

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Zizania aquatica
Image courtesy Steve Hurst @

Zizania palustrus
Photo Claire Hebbard, Gramene

Genetic Diversity

Different cultivars of wild rice vary in their ability to tolerate flooding, low temperatures, salt, and various soil and climate conditions. Physically they vary in height, panicle size, and shattering resistance (12). The most popular varieties in Minnesota and Wisconsin are described below*:
  • K2- has a medium height, early to medium maturity, and medium to high yield.
  • M3- has a medium height, medium to late maturity, high yield, and variable plant and panicle type.
  • Meter- has a shorter height, very early maturity, low to medium yield, and large seed size. Reduced foliage in the canopy compared to other varieties.
  • Netum- has a medium height, early maturity, and low to medium yield.
  • Voyager- has a short to medium height, early maturity, and medium to high yield. Should equal or exceed K2 in yield and mature a few days earlier.
(* From 13)

Wild rice cultivars grown in California are mostly developed by NorCal Seeds (11), whose website can offer more information on their varieties. For more information on Z. texana, visit Genetic Diversity of Texas Wild Rice .


  1. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. 2003. Plant Gene Resources of Canada., accessed 5/23/06.
  2. Bois Forte Reservation Tribal Council. 1998. Wild Rice Sales and General Information. Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Deptartment of Natural Resources.
  3. California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations A Dictionary of Botanical Etymology. 2003-2005 Compiled by Michael L. Charters. , accessed 5/23/06.
  4. California Wild Rice Advisory Board. 2006. Wild Rice Facts., accessed 5/23/06.
  5. California Wild Rice Growers Association. What is wild rice?, accessed 5/23/06.
  6. Christmas Point Wild Rice Company. 2000-2005. About Wild Rice., accessed 5/23/06.
  7. Clayton, W.D., Harman, K.T. and Williamson, H. (2002 onwards). World Grass Species: Descriptions, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [accessed 28 March 2006].
  8. Erickson, S. 7/16/96. Wild Rice Production Process, accessed 5/23/06.
  9. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). 2006. Retrieved May 23, 2006, from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database,
  10. Nelson, J. 2000. Crop Profile for Wild Rice in Minnesota. Minnesota Pesticide Impact Assessment Program (PIAP). From USDA - NSF Center for Integrated Pest Management. North Carolina State University.
  11. Oelke, E.A. 1993. Wild rice: Domestication of a native North American genus. p. 235-243. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), New crops. Wiley, New York.
  12. Oelke, E.; Teynor,T.; Carter, P.; Percich, J.; Noetzel,D.; Bloom,P.; Porter,R.; Schertz, C.; Boedicker,J.; and Fuller, E. Zizania aquatica L. January 9, 1998.
  13. E.A. Oelke, T.M. Teynor, P.R. Carter, J.A. Percich, D.M. Noetzel, P.R. Bloom, R.A. Porter, C.E. Schertz, J.J. Boedicker, and E.I. Fuller. Wild Rice. Wisconsin Corn Agronomy., accessed 5/23/06.
  14. Small, E. 1999. New crops for Canadian agriculture. p. 15-52. Wild Rice (Zizania palustris L). In: J. Janick (ed.), Perspectives on new crops and new uses. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
  15. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 2006. Texas Wild-rice (Zizania texana)., accessed 5.23.06.
  16. 1854 Tribal Treaty Authority (2006). "Biology of Wild Rice.", accessed 5/23/06.
  17. University of Florida. 1998. Zizania aquatica, Aquatic Plant Information Retrieval System. Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.
  18. US Fish and Wildlife Service. 2006. Wild-rice, Texas., accessed 5/23/06.
  19. USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database, 6 March 2006 ( Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
  20. Waikato Regional Council. 1999-2006. Regional Pest Management Strategy 2002-2007, Section 5 - Plant Pests. Environment Waikato.
  21. Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 1992 onward. The grass genera of the world: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval; including synonyms, morphology, anatomy, physiology, phytochemistry, cytology, classification, pathogens, world and local distribution, and references. Version: 28th November 2005.
  22. Wikipedia contributors (2006). Wild Rice. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 23, 2006.
  23. Wild Rice Nation. 2006. Wild Rice Farming.
  24. Yamaguchi, M. 1990. Asian vegetables. p. 387-390. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), Advances in new crops. Timber Press, Portland, OR. found at