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Leersia oryzoides

Common Names: Rice Cut-grass
Family: Poaceae

Entry Author: C. Westring
Description:  Loosely tufted perennial grass creeping from rhizomes; recognized by its rough, saw-toothed leaf edges that can tear through skin, and its spikelets
Flat, elongated, with small but sharp-cutting teeth along the edges, 15-30 cm long, 6-15 mm wide
 One flower per spikelet, with many spikelets arranged in a panicle up to 20 cm long; each spikelet greenish-white, oblong, 4-6 mm long
 Grains are red-brown, ellipsoid, 3 mm long
Stem: Reclining to ascending, branching, and arising from a slender, elongated rhizome. 
Branching Pattern:
 Leaves attached to the stem via a sheath
Height:  1-1.5 meters, erect or sprawling
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: Marshes, wet meadows, and on the borders of lakes, ponds and streams
Range: Throughout the continental United States
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide:  Not threatened
Uses (Human):  The seeds and greens are regularly consumed by mammals, birds, and reptiles.  This plant also serves as the larval food plant for butterflies. 


Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains.  February 23, 2005.  Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.  Accessed: January 20, 2006.  <>

The Pennsylvania Flora Project.  Botany Department, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.  Accessed:  January 20, 2006.  <>

Redington, Charles B.  Plants in Wetlands.  Iowa:  Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1994.

USDA, NRCS. 2005. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 ( Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

This page was created by: J. Rogers, Northampton Community College, and K. Rice and C. Westring, Muhlenberg College
Last updated 01/24/06