California Wild Rice Research and Information Center

Wild rice is not actually rice at all but a form of wheat grass. However, it does grow in similar conditions to rice – that is in flooded soils. Wild rice is thought to be native to Great Lakes region where it is still grown wild.



In California, wild rice has been grown commercially since the 1970s and is planted in cultivated paddies where yields range from 1,200 to 2,000 lb/ac. There are three major production regions for wild rice in California:

  • The Sacramento Valley
  • Northeastern California
  • Clear Lake region

Wild rice is a minor crop in California (less than 20,000 acres); however, California is the largest producer of wild rice in the world.