Wild rice is a native annual grass with feathery flowers on top of a tall, round stem. It grows in freshwater marshes throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.
Wild rice has a round, hollow, upright stem and can grow to 10 feet tall. Its long, flat leaves have rough, toothed edges and can grow up to 16 inches in length and 2 inches wide. Immature plants have long, ribbon-like underwater leaves. The flower head has two sections: a feathery, upright female flower at the top of the stem and dangling male flowers on branches just below. Flowers bloom June through August.
Forms colonies in tidal and non-tidal freshwater marshes and along streams. Grows in shallow water.
Grows in the upper parts of tributaries such as the Choptank, Patuxent, Potomac and York rivers.
Wild rice spreads by seeds only. After blooming, female flower matures into a seed head full of rice grains. New seedlings grow in spring.