Herb: Wild Rice
Latin name: Zizania aquatica
Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)
Edible parts of Wild Rice:Seed - cooked. It can be used as a cereal. A staple food of the native North American Indians, the long black delicious grain is eaten as an expensive gourmet meal. It is used in the same ways that rice is used and is sometimes added to rice dishes to impart its subtle flavour. The seed can also be ground into a meal and used in making bread, thickening soups etc. It is a very rich source of riboflavin and is also rich in niacin. The base of the culms is used as a vegetable.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Shallow waters of rivers and lakes, preferring a slow moving current.
Propagation of Wild Rice:Seed - it must not be allowed to dry out or it will quickly lose its viability, usually within 4 weeks. Store collected seed in jars of water in a cool place such as the salad compartment of a fridge. Sow the seed in spring. Immerse the pots so that they are covered by about 5cm of water. It is best to sow 2 seeds per 7cm pot in a greenhouse in order to get early germination and a better chance of a crop. Pot on as required and plant out about 30cm square in May, by which time the plants should be 20 - 30cm tall. Larger quantities can be sown in shallow boxes and plunged into the pond etc in May.
Cultivation of the herb:Shallow waters of rivers and lakes, preferring a slow moving current.
Medicinal use of Wild Rice:None known
Known hazards of Zizania aquatica:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.