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Wild Rice for ponds

Discussion in 'Plants, Ponds & Planted Tanks' started by Frank Cowherd, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. Frank Cowherd

    Frank Cowherd Global Moderators
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    There is a specie of wild rice native to this area: zizania aquatica. It is found in the freshwater, including tidal freshwater, areas of the Chesapeake Bay.

    Has anyone seen wild rice growing in this area?

    Turns out there is another specie: zizania palustris that is found in Canada and the Great lakes and westward from the lakes. Does anyone know how to tell the difference in the two species. I found this article:https://www.jstor.org/stable/23297466?seq=1#page_thumbnails_tab_contents but I cannot read it for some reason.

    Wild rice forms eatable seeds which apparently can also be popped like popcorn. I have to try popping some.

    Wild rice can help keep a pond clean by sucking up nutrients, which is why I am interested in wild rice.
     
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  2. chriscoli

    chriscoli Board of Directors
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    I've thought about growing it too, especially after seeing some of the plants at the last PVAS auction. They had enormous root systems!

    it's an annual, which is why I haven't tried it yet. I'm more interested in the perennials, but if it's easy to grow I might change my mind.
     
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  3. chriscoli

    chriscoli Board of Directors
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    Sounds like they're tricky to tell apart....

    Z. palustris was once considered a variety of Zizania aquatica (Southern Wild Rice) and is lumped with it in some references, but the latter is distinguished by its more robust form, growing to heights of as much as 14 feet, leaves to 5.5 cm wide, ligules to 28 mm long, somewhat smaller spikelets (both staminate and pistillate), with pistillate lemmas at least sparsely hairy between the veins all across the surface, and aborted spikelets less than 1 mm wide. Z. aquatica has been recorded only once in Minnesota, in Houston County in 1899, but is fairly common in Wisconsin.
    (from https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/grass-sedge-rush/wild-rice)
     
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  4. Becca

    Becca CCA Members

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    I'd be interested in some if anyone knows where to find it.
     
  5. JLW

    JLW CCA Members

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    Its easy enough to collect the seeds. The native should also be self sowing, so its only ... sorta annual?
     
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  6. Becca

    Becca CCA Members

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    You offering to ID it?
     
  7. Frank Cowherd

    Frank Cowherd Global Moderators
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    FishEggs and chriscoli like this.
  8. Prince

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    I could use some in my pond.
     
  9. Leffler817

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    I saw this thread last night and jumped on the horn. I called my friend who work for Ducks Unlimited restoring wetlands in the mid atlantic region. He seemed to think that the wild rice "probably would not thrive" but also went on to say "that many wealthy people throw money into the water to attract more ducks". He said the plant is finicky, grows in tidal waters, and requires certain water parameters which is why so much of it has died in the bay due mainly to pollution. So the hardhead in me took the phone and asked him where can I get some? He didn't know but suggested the Environmental Concern.

    http://www.wetland.org/index.htm

    The EC is based just up the road from me and they grow all kinds of native plants and do habitat restoration stuff on the shore. They run a nursery and do sell plants. I called them to ask about wild rice. Unfortunately, they do not have any but to have Leerisa Oryzoides "rice cutgrass" it grows to 5' and is drought tolerant. It grows best in tidal waters and does the same thing beneficially as wild rice. They have it available in 'plugs' which should be planted about 6" deep for $1.80 each.
     
  10. Becca

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    So no good for freshwater ponds?
     
  11. chriscoli

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    From what I read, it likes just the right amount of water movement. Part of what's causing its decline in the area is silt and nutrient buildup in the waterways it normally likes. it likes clear flowing water in a gravel substrate.
     
  12. Leffler817

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    My DU friend said he didn't think it would work but the girl I spoke with from EC said as long as it was planted 6" deep it should be ok.
     

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