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- Leersia Oryzoides, or Rice Cut Grass, is a perennial grass that gets it’s common name from the sharp leaf blades that can cut through human flesh. The plant has a mature height of 2 feet to 4 feet and maintains an upright habit.
Here's how your plants will look on arrival. All plants are dormant with no leaves or foliage.
Leersia Oryzoides - Rice Cut Grass
Leersia Oryzoides, or Rice Cut Grass, is a perennial grass that gets its common name from the sharp leaf blades that can cut through human flesh. The plant has a mature height of 2 feet to 4 feet and maintains an upright habit. The culms, or stems, are yellow-green to light green, have an oval shape, and are hollow. The leaf blades start at the base and alternate along the length of the culm. The medium green leaves themselves are 10 inches long and ½ inch wide and edged in a rough texture that resembles sharp, serrated teeth. At the top of each culm is a loose branch of flowers, or panicle, that is 4 to 10 inches in length and 3 to 6 inches across. This free, open array spikelet has florets along only one side of the branch. The grass has green blooms in late summer to early fall and is cross-pollinated by the wind. Rice Cut Grass is native to southern Canada and the northern United States, USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9. This plant prefers wet soil and full sun but is highly adaptable. Rice Cut Grass can grow in full sun to full shade and in highly saturated water to shallow water. The plant is found in marshes, sandy soil, gravel soil, swamps, and low-lying storm drainage areas. It has also shown tolerance to drought. The first spread of the plant is through rhizomes underground, but it also propagates through seed spread. In areas of disturbed wetland, Leersia oryzoides can spread aggressively. The adaptive nature of this plant make is excellent control of erosion and bioremediation. The fibrous roots make this an excellent ground cover to keep out non-native species, especially when grown en masse. The plants themselves create a habitat for a variety of waterfowl, songbirds, fish, and amphibians by providing nesting areas, food, and cover from predators. The plant's deer and geese resistant and sharp leaf blades detract human interference in wetland restoration.