Plant Guide > Grasses > White Grained Mountain Rice

White Grained Mountain Rice


Oryzopsis asperifolia Michx.

White Grained Mountain Rice is one of the earliest of the woodland grasses, and the common name refers to the large seed of which it is said that a white flour has been made.

The tufts of long basal leaves remain green during the winter, and in early spring the slender stems rise (often purple-tinged at the base) bearing short, narrow panicles of a few pale-coloured fiowers.

White-grained Mountain Rice. Winter-grass. Oryzopsis asperifolia Michx.

Perennial.

Stem 8'-20' tall, slender, erect. Ligule very short. Stem leaves very short, basal leaves long and narrow, 2"-4" wide.

Panicle 2'-4' long, few-flowered, narrow and contracted. Spikelets 1-flowered, broad, 3"-4" long. Scales 3; outer scales slightly unequal; flowering scale whitish, sparingly downy, bearing a terminal awn 4"-5" long. Stamens 3. The leaves remain green during winter.

Woodlands. April to June.

Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota; also in the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico.