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Common Name: Mountain Rice
Oryzopsis asperifolia is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.45 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Eastern N. America - Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to New York, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Open coniferous woods, thickets and peaty openings southwards from Canada[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. One report says that the plant has a relatively large seed and is deserving of more attention as a potential food crop[
]. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Succeeds in any moderately fertile moisture retentive soil in full sun[
Seed - raw, cooked or ground into a meal. The seed is fairly large with a fine and abundant farina[
], it can be ground into an excellent flour[
]. A pleasant taste. The seed is difficult to harvest because it drops from the plant very easily[
Seed - sow spring in situ[
We have had better results from sowing the seed in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed and it should germinate freely within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer[
Division in spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.