Herb: Manchurian Wild Rice


Latin name: Zizania latifolia


Synonyms: Zizania caduciflora


Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)



Medicinal use of Manchurian Wild Rice:

The shoots, roots and the seed are diuretic and febrifuge. The leaves are tonic.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
3.5 m
(11 feet)

Flovering:
July to
September

Habitat of the herb:

Swamps marshes etc in running or stagnant shallow water. Shallow water of lake margins and swamps, often forming large patches.

Edible parts of Manchurian Wild Rice:

The swollen stem bases, infected with the smut fungus Ustilago esculenta, are eaten as a vegetable by the Chinese. They must be harvested before the fungus starts to produce spores since the flesh deteriorates at this time. They are parboiled then saut‚ed with other vegetables and have a nutty flavour reminiscent of coconut. The wild forms of this species have developed resistance to the smut, so specially disease-susceptible cultivars are grown. Seed - cooked. It can be used like rice in sweet or savoury dishes. The seed can also be ground into a flour and used in making cakes, biscuits etc. The seed contains about 13.7% protein, 0.9% fat, 72.7% carbohydrate, 0.7% ash. Young inflorescences - cooked and used as a vegetable. Young shoots - raw or cooked. A pleasant sweet taste. The shoots contain about 1% protein, 0.3% fat, 4.7% carbohydrate, 0.7% ash. Root. No more details.

Other uses of the herb:

The leaves are woven into mats.

Propagation of Manchurian 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 a greenhouse in spring. Immerse the pots so that they are covered by about 5cm of water. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Swamps marshes etc in running or stagnant shallow water. Shallow water of lake margins and swamps, often forming large patches.

Known hazards of Zizania latifolia:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.