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Oryza longistaminata - A.Chev. & Roehr.

Common Name Perennial wild rice
Family Poaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Swamps, shallow ponds, lake and river sides, field edges and flooded grassland, in both permanently wet and seasonally inundated areas[332 , 1040 ]. It can colonise inundated meadows to form a blanket cover[332 ]. Found at elevations up to 1,800 metres[299 ].
Range Tropical Africa - Senegal to Somalia, south to southwest Africa to Madagascar.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Water Plants Full sun
Oryza longistaminata Perennial wild rice
Oryza longistaminata Perennial wild rice


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Oryza longistaminata is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Oryza silvestris Stapf ex A.Chev.


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed
Edible Uses:

Seed - cooked[299 , 332 ]. It is said to have a good flavour[332 ]. It can be used as a famine food[332 ]. The seed has an appearance similar to Asian rice (Oryza sativa)[332 ]. Harvesting of the seed poses some difficulties, especially because the grain shatters extremely readily[332 ]. One method is to reap the entire panicle just before it comes to maturity; alternatively, the ripe panicle is shaken over a basket or a calabash into which the grain falls[332 ]. Another disincentive to handling the panicle is the long scabrid awns[332 ]. The plant is considered to be a source of resistance genes to various diseases affecting cultivated rice (Oryza sativa). Resistance to bacterial leaf blight has successfully been transferred[299 ]. It is a host plant of rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV), an important disease of Oryza sativa in Africa, but in general it is more tolerant of the disease, and some accessions are immune. The plant is a potential source of genes for the development of perennial types of Oryza sativa, which would provide a permanent ground cover and reduce erosion[299 ].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

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Other Uses

The straw, which may attain considerable length if the plant has grown in flood water, is valued for thatching[299 , 332 ]. Because they are a source of resistance to or tolerance of biotic and abiotic stresses, the most important use of the various species of wild rice is probably in breeding programmes to improve the species of cultivated rice[1040 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

Cultivation details

Staple Crop: Balanced carb  Wild-harvested and Sold

Requires a sunny position[332 ]. Prefers black cotton soils, Kalahari sand, and alluvium. Plants can succeed in water up to 4 metres deep, but generally it is less than 1 metre[332 , 1040 ]. The plant can become a noxious weed in rice paddy fields, suppressing cultivated-rice strains[332 ]. Plants can flower at any time of the year[1040 ]. The plant does not always set seed well, propagating itself mainly by means of its extensive rhizomes[299 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Staple Crop: Balanced carb  (0-15 percent protein, 0-15 percent oil, with at least one over 5 percent). The carbohydrates are from either starch or sugar. Annuals include maize, wheat, rice, and potato. Perennials include chestnuts, carob, perennial fruits, nuts, cereals, pseudocereals, woody pods, and acorns.
  • Wild-harvested and Sold  Some wild plants have strong historic or contemporary use. Although they are not cultivated crops, they may be wild-managed.

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Seed. The seed of wild rice less than 12 months old often exhibits strong dormancy, which implies (though this has not been established) that the seed retains its viability for a considerable period[1040 ]. Heat treatment is generally effective in breaking dormancy - alternating temperatures between 34°c for 16 hours then 11°c for 8 hours is usually effective, though the time taken varies between species[1040 ]. Surface sow the seed in light shade and do not allow to dry out. Seed should germinate within 7 days at 30°c[1040 ]. Prick out 2 - 3 seedlings into individual pots when large enough to handle and, after a few days, move to a sunny position. Grow on until large enough to plant out. Division.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Alumo, Aro-de-ganga, Arroz-bravo, Arroz-selvagin, Bahure, Bange saga, Barimale, Bawu, Bororo, Bugau, Cadja, Cumaro-maro, Kolkodo, Kuma malo, Lop, Lou, M'baia, Mababa, Malo-sanfe, Malu-lante, Maro-djine, Maro-guelode, Marocumare, N'djangante, N'tanse, N'tante, Omano-mane, Pungane, Pungue, Sibuyuyu, Sulefagi, Undjangante, Untante, English: Red Rice, Rhizomatous wild rice. African perennial rice. French: diga; riz sauvage; riz sauvage à rhizomes. Germany: Reis, Wilder

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, East Africa, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinée, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Southern Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, West Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

The plant can become a noxious weed in rice paddy fields, suppressing cultivated-rice strains[332 ]. As the wild rices do not germinate in the absence of adequate oxygen, they are only weed problems if they are allowed to germinate and establish in drained soil prior to flooding or in the case of O. longistaminata, when the weed regenerates from rhizomes. The annual species' are therefore not serious weeds of transplanted rice, provided clean seed is used and adequate water control is employed (Parker and Dean, 1976).

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Least Concern ver 3.1

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Oryza hybridsPerennial RicePerennial2.0 7-12 FLMHNMWeWa422
Oryza sativaRice, Common RiceAnnual1.8 10-12 FLMHNMWeWa522
Rhynchoryza subulataArroz bravoPerennial0.3 9-12 FLMHNMWe300


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A.Chev. & Roehr.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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