Plants and Animals
Zizania aquatica Wild rice
Tall aquatic grass (2-3 m) of emergent marshes, lakeshores, and slowly moving streams; leaves (submersed, floating or aerial) 1-4.5 cm wide; inflorescences terminal with female spikelets above and male spikelets below; pistillate lemmas thin and flexible, with a few stiff hairs between the nerves. Several other varieties also occur.
Status and Rank
US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S2S3 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from imperiled to vulnerable
|County||Number of Occurrences||Year Last Observed|
Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.
Wild-rice is found in rivers, streams, lakes, ponds. It usually occurs in water less than 2 ft deep in areas with a slight current over a mucky or silty bottom.
Specific Habitat Needs
Run needed in: Prairie fen.
Natural Community Types
- Emergent marsh
- Great lakes marsh
- Inland lake, littoral, benthic
- Mainstem stream (3rd-4th order), pool
- Mainstem stream (3rd-4th order), run
- Prairie fen
- River (5th-6th order), pool
- River (5th-6th order), run
- Southern wet meadow
For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.
Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.
Water-plantain, sedges, spike-rush, northern manna grass, cut grass, smartweed, arrowhead, bur-reed, cat-tail, wild rice, water-milfoil, watercress, great duckweed, water-lily, bulrush, pickerel weed, arrow-arum, pondweed, tamarack, and willow.
The species benefits from habitat protection and the maintenance of wetland hydrology, including the natural cycle of water fluctuations. Agricultural run-off has negative impacts, as does the spread of non-native species like narrow-leaf cattail, Phragmites, and purple loosestrife.
Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.
Survey Period: From first week of July to third week of September
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- Holmgren, N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the vascular plants of Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 937pp.
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- Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region, 4th ed. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis. 921pp.
- Voss, E. G. 1972. Michigan Flora. Part I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 488pp.