Coefficient of Conservatism:
Coefficient of Wetness:
NORTHERN WILD-RICE, WILD-RICE
Included in Z. aquatica in Michigan Flora.
Found in the same habitats as Z. aquatica, but much more common.
Almost all our plants are subsp. palustris, which is widespread throughout Michigan. It has appressed pistillate branches in the inflorescence, the lowermost with mostly 3–8 spikelets, and leaves up to 2 cm wide. Subsp. interior (Fassett) S. L. Chen has usually somewhat divergent branches in the pistillate portion of the inflorescence, the lowest branches of which usually have 12–18 or more spikelets, and wider leaves, apparently to 4 cm or more (though no Michigan plants have leaves wider than 1.7 cm). Very few scattered Michigan specimens appear to be subsp. interior and their occurrence in Michigan is somewhat mysterious. Seed is sometimes sown to grow stands for the benefit of wildlife, especially ducks, for which it is an important food. Our locations for subsp. interior thus may not all represent natural occurrences.