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Wild rice thrives best in shallow lakes

Wild Rice Plant Description


Introduction
Wild rice is grass related to domestic rice (Oryza sativa and Oryza glaberrima). All members of the same tribe Oryzeae, wild rice has an edible outer sheath with a tender grain inside. The plant is known by its Ojibwe name, mandolin, Canada rice, Indian rice, and water oats.

Classification of Wild Rice
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Oryzoideae
Tribe: Oryzeae
Subtribe: Zizaniinae
Genus: Zizania
Zizania palustris: Annual native to southern Canada, the north-central United States, and the Great Lakes area
Zizania aquatica: Annual native to the St. Lawrence River area and Atlantic and Gulf coastal regions of the United States
Zizania texana: Also called Texas wild rice, a perennial nearly extinct in central Texas along the San Marcos River but has become an invasive species in New Zealand since its accidental introduction
Zizania latifolia: Also called Manchurian wild rice, a perennial native to China

History of Wild Rice
Native peoples in the United States have been eating wild rice for thousands of years, harvesting it from boats by gently knocking the grain heads with specialized wooden sticks into collecting baskets. Any grains falling into the water seed the next season’s crop. The plant has long been regarded as sacred by several tribes. In 2018, manoomin was granted legal personhood with the right to flourish by the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe. They filed a lawsuit in 2021 against the oil pipeline developers whose construction endangered the natural habitat.

Manchurian wild rice was a primary food source in ancient China, but now it is almost non-existent in the wild. No longer cultivated for its grain value, it is grown only for fleshy white stems.

In the 20th century, wild rice began increasing in popularity in both the United States and Canada. Today it is commercially considered almost an exotic food for mixing in other dishes rather than consuming on its own.

Preferred Growing Conditions
Wild rice thrives best in shallow lakes, slow-moving streams, and fresh marshes. The plants grow vertically underwater in mid-spring, eventually reaching several feet tall. Each plant flower has male spikelets below the female spikelets at the end of the stalk. In July, the plants cross-pollinate. The ripening grains fall into the water over about ten days if not harvested or eaten by deer, fish, and other wildlife.



Nutritional Value of Wild Rice

 


Wild rice is quite nutritious, containing protein, lysine, and dietary fiber. It is a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese. Low in fat, it also offers the antioxidant apigenin, which is being evaluated in cancer research.

Wild Rice Precautions
Like other rice, wild rice potentially contains arsenic and other heavy metals absorbed from its environment. Soaking the grains in water overnight for up to 24 hours is a safe practice. Another concern is the rare potential of ergot toxin; infected grains exhibit pink or purple spots and should be discarded.



Wild Rice in Cooking

 


This nutritious and natural food is becoming increasingly common due to its high nutrient density.

Water Willow - TN Nursery

Water Willow

Water Willow is a native aquatic plant with lance-shaped leaves and spikes of small, tubular, white to lavender flowers commonly found in streams and wetland areas. It offers a plethora of positive attributes that make itJusticia an excellent addition to any landscaping design. These charming deciduous trees are native to the southeastern United States and thrive in wetland areas, making them perfect for aqua gardens, pond edges, and other moist environments. Water Willow, also known as Dianthera americana, are aquatic herbaceous plants. In other words, this particular plant is typically found partially submerged in flowing or still aquas. They offer a nice splash of color and visual interest to their surroundings and can be eye-catching. Water Willow Has Stunning Flowers This plant produces white and purple flowers in small clusters. When fully grown, each flower is approximately 1/2 inch. They grow out of stalks from their foliage and usually remain in bloom from May through October. This plant attracts bees and even offers them a prominent guideline for pollination purposes! Therefore, if you want to help the world's bee population, putting some on an artificial lake is a great idea. The Water Willow Has Exotic Leaves Once the slender rhizomes have been planted, American Willows will begin to grow and thrive. In time, they can even spread into large colonies that take up approximately 1,000 square feet. Of course, this flowering plant is also suitable for your yard's built-in aqua features as it won't grow more significant than its area. The leaves themselves are simple and can grow up to six inches long. They're also bright green and go to a point at the tip. Meanwhile, the stems grow between 1.6 and 3.3 feet high and are also born. Small brown capsules serve as this plant's fruit. They attract various animals, and they're used to help keep this species alive and well. More will be born as long as they end up near a river, lake, or stream! Water Willow Will Bring In Lots Of Wildlife One of the best things about Water Willow is that it will bring in a lot of wildlife. You can expect to see muskrats and beavers dining on the rhizomes in the wild. Deer usually eat the leaves, and bees enjoy the pollen. This plant will also feed a variety of other insects. Instead of stopping there, it also makes a fantastic habitat for amphibians, fish, and assorted aquatic invertebrates.

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