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Zizania latifolia - (Griseb.)Turcz. ex Stapf.

Common Name Manchurian Wild Rice
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Swamps marshes etc in running or stagnant shallow water[1, 136]. Shallow water of lake margins and swamps, often forming large patches[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Manchuria.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Half Hardy Water Plants Semi-shade Full sun
Zizania latifolia Manchurian Wild Rice

Zizania latifolia Manchurian Wild Rice


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Zizania latifolia is a PERENNIAL growing to 3.5 m (11ft 6in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It can grow in water.


Z. caducifolia.



Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers;  Root;  Seed;  Stem.
Edible Uses:

The swollen stem bases, infected with the smut fungus Ustilago esculenta, are eaten as a vegetable by the Chinese[1, 74, 105]. They must be harvested before the fungus starts to produce spores since the flesh deteriorates at this time[206]. They are parboiled then sautéed with other vegetables and have a nutty flavour reminiscent of coconut[183]. The wild forms of this species have developed resistance to the smut, so specially disease-susceptible cultivars are grown[206]. Seed - cooked[1, 74, 136]. It can be used like rice in sweet or savoury dishes[183]. The seed can also be ground into a flour and used in making cakes, biscuits etc[K]. The seed contains about 13.7% protein, 0.9% fat, 72.7% carbohydrate, 0.7% ash[179]. Young inflorescences - cooked and used as a vegetable[183]. Young shoots - raw or cooked[46, 136, 178]. A pleasant sweet taste[74]. The shoots contain about 1% protein, 0.3% fat, 4.7% carbohydrate, 0.7% ash[179]. Root[1, 74]. No more details.

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.

Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  Tonic.

The shoots, roots and the seed are diuretic and febrifuge[178, 218]. The leaves are tonic[218].

Other Uses


The leaves are woven into mats[1, 46, 61].

Cultivation details

Management: Standard;  Regional Crop;  Staple Crop: Balanced carb.

A marsh or water plant requiring shallow stagnant or slowly flowing water, it is easily grown in most soils in a sunny position[136]. Prefers a slightly acidic clay-loam soil[206]. One report suggests that the plant is in hardiness zone 9 (only tolerating light frosts)[200] but this is rather questionable, there are several reports of the plant being perfectly hardy in Britain, though it does not usually flower in this country[136]. It requires hot summers with temperatures between 20 - 30°c if it is to do well[206]. It is often cultivated as a food crop in E. Asia and is often grown as cover for wild fowl along the sides of lakes in Britain[136]. It grows very well at Kew[136].


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Seed - it must not be allowed to dry out or it will quickly lose its viability, usually within 4 weeks[136]. 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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Jiaoercai, Jiaoer vegetable, Jiaobai, White jiao, Jiaosun, Jiao bamboo shoot, Perennial rice, Water rice, Water grass, Ishing-kambong, Gau sun, Kah peh sung, Makomo, Kaw-sun, Chinese wild rice, Zizania shoot,

Found In

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

Asia, Burma, China, India, Indochina, Japan, Manchuria, Myanmar, SE Asia, Taiwan.

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.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Zizania aquaticaWild Rice, Annual wildrice50


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Expert comment


(Griseb.)Turcz. ex Stapf.

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.

Readers comment

   Mar 18 2016 12:00AM

An extract of the Manchurian Wild Rice plant is marketed as "Macomo Bath" in Japan. Used as a topical treatment for the skin as well. Also happened upon a blog reporting a woman's experience in soothing & healing Macomo (Manchurian Wild Rice) spa waters. Apparently, the plant deserves that we delve for a little deeper look at it!

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Subject : Zizania latifolia  
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