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ORYZA

Image of Oryza

Keith Weller, USDA/ARS

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

ORYZA

Plant Common Name

Rice

General Description

Cultivated rice (Oryza sativa) is among the 19 annual and perennial grasses that make up this genus. All are native to tropical and subtropical latitudes of Asia and Africa.

These grasses form spreading clumps of upright to lax stems furnished with long, blade-shaped, erect to arching leaves. Branching panicles of greenish flower "spikelets" appear at the stem tips, typically in summer. Each spikelet consists of a single, inconspicuous, wind-pollinated flower encased in a tough, ovoid husk. Some varieties bear long, bristle-like "awns" at their spikelet tips. Pollinated flowers mature into hard-coated grains ("rice") which turn tan or brown as they ripen. Unhulled spikelets (known as "paddy") are threshed or otherwise processed to separate the grain from the hulls.

Rices thrive in full sun, damp fertile soil, and warm humid conditions. Sow seed in warm soil in late winter or early spring, either in the ground or in pots. Keep soil damp at all times. Plant out container-grown seedlings after danger of frost. A few selections of Oryza sativa are grown for ornament rather than for food; these include the purple-leaved cultivar 'Nigrescens'.

Grains commonly known as "wild rice" belong to other plant genera such as Zizania.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 15

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Native To

    Eastern Africa, Northern Africa, Southern Asia, Southeastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Ample Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Yellow Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Houseplant, Tropical, Water Gardens

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes