Texas Wild-rice (Zizania texana)

Photograph of the Texas Wild Rice


Texas Status
U.S. Status
Endangered, Listed 4/26/1978
Texas wild-rice has long green leaves up to 45 inches in length and 1/4 to 1 inch wide. Rice "seeds" are black or brown.
Life History
Texas wild-rice is an aquatic perennial grass found only in the upper two miles of the San Marcos River in central Texas. It is related to the wild-rice grown for human food. On a sunny day, this plant's bright green leaves can be seen waving in the current near the river bottom in areas where the water is clean and clear. This plant is endangered because the river water is being impacted by the growth of the city of San Marcos and increasing numbers of people swimming, canoeing, and tubing the river. Because more people are using water, less underground water is flowing from the springs. Nutria, a non-native rodent that lives in wetland areas, is also a threat because it eats the wild-rice.
This plant grows in clear flowing spring-fed waters.
This species grows in the San Marcos River in Hays County, central Texas; Edwards Plateau region. Currently, only one population is known.
You can help save this plant by not pulling it up or disturbing it. Do your part to conserve water and keep the San Marcos River clean.

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