Photo Credit
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Wild rice

Scientific name
Zizania palustris
Also Known As
Blackbird oats, Canadian rice, Manoomin (Ojibwe), Marsh oats, Northern wild rice, water oats
Plant Family
Plant Group
Known as manoomin by the Ojibwe. Found in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. Flowers bloom in July and the grain ripens in August and September. It is a native grain that has served as a food staple of the Great Lakes Ojibwe and for wildlife.
Identification Hints

Manoomin is an aquatic grass that grows in coastal wetlands, rivers, and lakes in water depths of 1-3 feet. During early summer, its leaves float on top of the water. The plant undergoes a physiological change and emerges from the water in a stalk that grows up to 6 feet in height. The grain ripens in August and September.

Did You Know?

Manoomin means "good berry" in the Ojibwe language. At one time the Ojibwe people lived on Atlantic coast. They were told in prophecies to migrate to the west until they found the place where "food grow on the water." That food is wild rice. This native grain is found through the Ojibwe Ceded Territory of northern MN, WI and MI. It is an important staple food of the Ojibwe people and is also important to wildlife.