Please try our next iteration of the Michigan Flora Online here. Beginning on February 1, 2023, will point to this new site.

The new site offers several benefits over the existing website, including real coordinate mapping, giving a clearer view of the density of documentation as well as more precision about plant distributions and their link to landforms. We will also have the ability to update species pages more regularly, both in terms of new collections and as more existing Michigan specimens are georeferenced. In addition, we have a better photo display, and offer indented keys.

Zizania palustris L.
Synonym: Zizania aquatica
Coefficient of Conservatism: 8
Coefficient of Wetness: -5
Wetness Index: OBL
Physiognomy: Nt A-Grass

Included in Z. aquatica in Michigan Flora.

Found in similar habitats to Z. aquatica, but much more common and widespread in Michigan.

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.

This species is the wild rice that is harvested for grain in parts of the Great Lakes region.


Alcona County
Alger County
Berrien County
Cheboygan County
Chippewa County
    Only on Drummond Island
Clinton County
Emmet County
Gogebic County
Houghton County
Huron County
Iron County
Jackson County
Kalamazoo County
Kent County
Lapeer County
Leelanau County
Lenawee County
Livingston County
Mackinac County
    Including Bois Blanc, Mackinac, Round Islands
Mason County
Mecosta County
Menominee County
Montcalm County
Muskegon County
Oakland County
Ogemaw County
Oscoda County
Otsego County
Presque Isle County
Roscommon County
Schoolcraft County
Shiawassee County
St. Clair County
Washtenaw County


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. January 30, 2023.