Oryza punctata (wild rice)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Soil Tolerances
- Plant Trade
- Impact Summary
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Oryza punctata Kotschy ex Steud.
Preferred Common Name
- wild rice
Other Scientific Names
- Oryza eichingeri var. longearistata Peter
- Oryza sativa var. punctata (Kotschy ex Steud.) Kotschy & Schweinf.
- Oryza sativa var. punctata (Kotschy ex. Steud.) Schweinf.
- Oryza schweinfurthiana Prodehl
International Common Names
- English: red rice
- French: riz sauvage
Local Common Names
- Germany: Reis, Wilder
- Sudan: ruz el wadi
- ORYPU (Oryza punctata)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page O. punctata is locally quite important in some African countries but probably has a limited capacity to become invasive. It is listed as a noxious weed in the USA (USDA-ARS, 2003).
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Monocotyledonae
- Order: Cyperales
- Family: Poaceae
- Genus: Oryza
- Species: Oryza punctata
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page Katayama (1995b) indicates high variablity in O. punctata from collections of 44 strains from Africa.
DescriptionTop of page O. punctata is an erect or spreading, robust annual grass. Tufted, rarely stoloniferous. Rarely geniculate. Glabrous, smooth culms are up to 250 cm tall, usually over 4 mm, exceptionally up to 2.5 cm, in diameter at the base and have up to ten nodes. Leaf sheaths are pale-green to brownish, glabrous, nearly as long as internodes, with 15-mm-long auricles at the junction with the blade. The triangular, membranous ligule is less than 10 mm long. Bright to dark-green leaf blades are 10-75 cm long, 10-30 mm wide (20 times as long as wide), are broadest below the middle, triangulate, rough along the margins, otherwise smooth, glabrous with an indistinct mid-rib. Inflorescence a loose panicle 16-40 cm long which is composed of a few spreading branches, themselves up to 20 cm long. Panicle erect or slightly dropping with a tuft of hairs at the base of branches. Narrowly oblong, one-flowered spikelets up to 6.2 mm long, laterally compressed, always hairy and always pedicelled. Spikelets disarticulated above the glumes. Pedicels 7-15 mm long, scabrid to hispid and shed when mature. Glumes are only rudimentary. Sterile lemmas are 2-3.8 mm long, glabrous and smooth. Fertile lemmas are slightly shorter than the spikelet, stiffly hispid, with six stamens, a blackish stigma and a 2.6- to 7.5-cm-long awn, usually pink or purplish when fresh. The seeds are small, less than 5 mm long.
Plant TypeTop of page Annual
Grass / sedge
DistributionTop of page O. punctata is mainly an African species (Ivens, 1989) distributed across southern, eastern, central and western Africa (Häfliger and Scholz, 1981).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|-Indian Punjab||Present||Kaushal and Sidhu, 1998|
|Taiwan||Present||Wu and Lur, 2007|
|Thailand||Present||Clayton, 1970; Ivens, 1989|
|Angola||Present||Native||Not invasive||Clayton, 1970; Fernandes et al., 1971|
|Central African Republic||Present||Faluyi and Nwokeocha, 1993|
|Congo Democratic Republic||Present||Native||USDA-ARS, 2003|
|Côte d'Ivoire||Present||Native||Not invasive||Clayton, 1970; Hepper and, 1972|
|Ghana||Present||Native||Akromah, 1987; USDA-ARS, 2003|
|Kenya||Present||Native||Not invasive||Clayton, 1970; Hepper and, 1972; Ng, 1991|
|Madagascar||Present||Native||Clayton, 1970; Ivens, 1989; USDA-ARS, 2003|
|Malawi||Present||Nsapato et al., 2007|
|Nigeria||Restricted distribution||Native||Stanfield, 1970; Holm et al., 1979; Ng, 1991; Faluyi and Nwokeocha, 1993; Coloquio et al., 1998; USDA-ARS, 2003; EPPO, 2014|
|South Africa||Present||Native||USDA-ARS, 2003|
|Sudan||Present||Native||Clayton, 1970; Salih and Nour, 1992; USDA-ARS, 2003|
|Swaziland||Restricted distribution||Native||Holm et al., 1979; USDA-ARS, 2003; EPPO, 2014|
|Tanzania||Present||Native||Clayton, 1970; Ivens, 1989; Faluyi and Nwokeocha, 1993; USDA-ARS, 2003|
|-Zanzibar||Present||Clayton, 1970; Ghosh, 1978; Ivens, 1989|
|Uganda||Present||Native||Clayton, 1970; Ivens, 1989; USDA-ARS, 2003|
|Zimbabwe||Present||Native||Clayton, 1970; USDA-ARS, 2003|
HabitatTop of page The Oryza genus is found in tropical and warm temperate regions, mainly in swamps (Heywood, 1978). O. punctata is chiefly a species of aquatic habitats (Häfliger and Scholz, 1981).
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial – Managed||Cultivated / agricultural land||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-natural||Natural forests||Present, no further details|
|Natural grasslands||Present, no further details|
|Riverbanks||Present, no further details|
|Wetlands||Present, no further details|
|Coastal areas||Present, no further details|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page O. punctata is a common weed of cultivated rice and has been recognized as a weed of cultivated dryland rice by Wirjahardja et al. (1983).
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Oryza sativa (rice)||Poaceae||Unknown|
Growth StagesTop of page Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage
Biology and EcologyTop of page Genetics
There are two common genotypes of O. punctata, diploid 2n=24 and tetraploid 2n=48 (Watanabe et al., 1993). Lu et al. (1997) record the chromosome number in the tetraploid O. punctata as 2n=4x=48. Analysis of the distribution pattern of ploidy levels in Africa indicates that the diploid is widespread, the ranges of the diploids and tetraploids overlap (possibly with some degree of sympatry), and that tetraploids have spread beyond the range of diploids. Faluyi and Nwokeocha (1993) concluded from these data that the tetraploid is a young polyploid complex. Sano (1980) examined 22 characters in nine diploid (2n=24) and eight tetraploid (2n=48) strains of O. punctata. Among the 14 strains that were from known habitats, the diploids were from open grassland and the tetraploids from forests. Character differences were strongly correlated with ploidy. Compared with the tetraploids, the diploids showed high reproductive effort (seed weight as a percentage of total weight), well developed awns, low regenerating capacity of excised stem segments, short anthers and a high degree of dormancy.
Borromeo and Ramirez (1989) crossed an O. punctata accession to seven O. sativa lines and varieties. The F1 hybrids were all sterile due to abnormalities in chromosome number and behaviour. Hybrids, however, were better than either parent for height, flag leaf length and width, anther length, panicle length, spikelets/panicle and productive tillers/plant.
There has been much work concerning the hybridization of O. punctata, mainly with the aim of improving cultivated rice varieties.
Intergeneric hybrids resulting from the crosses O. punctata x Leersia tisserantii and O. punctata x L. perrieri were produced at frequencies ranging from 0.11 to 0.25% of the pollinated spikelets. The morphology of the hybrid plants strongly resembled the tetraploid Oryza species (Katayama, 1995a).
Reproduction is by seeds; O. punctata rarely produces stolons. It is reported to remain dormant for up to 5 years (Armstrong, 1968).
O. punctata grows in wet ground alongside streams and ponds from sea level to 1200 m (Ivens, 1989). At least some populations show some salt tolerance (Farooq et al., 1996), although Farooq et al. (1992) indicate much variability for salt tolerance in wild rice.
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Mean annual rainfall||0||0||mm; lower/upper limits|
Soil TolerancesTop of page
- seasonally waterlogged
Special soil tolerances
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Fruits (inc. pods)||seeds|
|Growing medium accompanying plants||seeds|
|Seedlings/Micropropagated plants||whole plants|
|True seeds (inc. grain)||seeds|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches|
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
ImpactTop of page Both O. barthii and O. punctata are listed as economically important species which are a potential problem to US agriculture and which should therefore be kept out of the country by plant quarantine procedures (Reed, 1977; USDA-ARS, 2003).
O. punctata is a common weed of rice crops in East Africa (Terry, 1984). It has been noted as an important weed of rice paddies in southern Tanzania where populations can build up to problem levels after three years of cropping.
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Impact outcomes
- Negatively impacts agriculture
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
UsesTop of page O. punctata is used as food in times of famine in western Sudan (Salih and Nour, 1992).
Wild relatives of cultivated rice may be a useful source of genes for broadening the gene pool of cultivated rice, enhancing resistance to insect and pathogen attack (Khan et al., 1989).
Kaushal and Sidhu (1998) report that O. punctata is one of several species carrying resistant genes against the four most prevalent pathotypes of bacterial leaf blight (Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae) under conditions in the Indian Punjab. Hybrids of O. punctata with O. sativa cultivars showed resistance to this bacterium, indicating that O. punctata is likely to carry the dominant gene for resistance (Kaushal, 1998). Zhang et al. (1994) reports that O. punctata showed resistance to bacterial leaf blight in trials carried out in China.
O. punctata collected from Nigeria showed 0% infection by Rice grassy stunt virus (RGSV-2) (Coloquio et al., 1998). Abo et al. (1998) indicate that O. punctata is also tolerant of Rice yellow mottle virus which threatens rice production in Africa. Kobayashi et al. (1991) reported high levels of resistance to Rice tungro spherical virus infection.
Velusamy (1988) reported resistance of wild Oryza species to the brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens. In a free-choice seedbox screening test, Velusamy et al. (1995) found that wild rice species maintained their high resistance to N. lugens compared with cultivated varieties. O. punctata also showed high levels of antibiosis to the green leafhopper Nephotettix virescens (Kobayashi et al., 1991). Velusamy (1989) also reports resistance of wild rices, including O. punctata, to the whitebacked planthopper Sogatella furcifera. From greenhouse studies, Heinrichs et al. (1985) report resistance to Hydrellia philippina in O. punctata for which there is a lack of resistance in cultivated rice varieties (O. sativa).
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page Aggarwal et al. (1999) indicate that there are 22 wild species of Oryza.
O. punctata is distinguished from O. longistaminata, the commonest of the weedy rices in Africa, by the absence of rhizomes.
The annual O. punctata is distinguished from O. barthii, a serious weed of rice in West Africa (Terry, 1983), by its small seeds (less than 5 mm long). The spikelets of O. punctata are up to 6.2 mm long and the length is approximately 2.5 times the width. In O. barthii the spikelets are somewhat larger, 7-11 mm long. The seeds of both these wild rices shed at maturity unlike those of the cultivated forms O. glaberrima and O. sativa.
Weedy shattering forms of O. sativa with a red pericarp or occasionally with black seeds have on rare occasions been introduced with planting seed into Africa, as occurred in Swaziland (Parker and Dean, 1976). These are sometimes referred to as O. rufipogon, although this is strictly a perennial species.
The "red rices" cause serious weed problems in the Americas (Holm et al., 1979). They lack rhizomes but, in common with O. longistaminata, have very long ligules (15-45 mm) on the lower leaves. Those of O. barthii and O. punctata are less than 10 mm long.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
Control of O. punctata in rice is facilitated by rotating the rice with broad-leaved crops in which control of grass weeds is easier. For example, in soyabeans, chemicals such as metolachlor can be used effectively as pre-emergence treatments (Ivens, 1989).
Parker and Dean (1976) state that annual wild rice problems are increased by dry sowing followed by flooding. For cultural control, soil puddling and direct sowing into water are recommended.
The more detailed suggestions for cultural control of O. rufipogon could well be applicable to this species.
Ghosh (1978) indicates that the highest yield of rice was obtained by hand-weeding three times in comparison to using selected herbicides for O. punctata control. The more detailed suggestions for mechanical control of O. rufipogon could well be applicable also to this species.
1,8-Naphthalic anhydride, used as a seed dressing, has made it possible to control O. punctata in rice (Blair et al., 1976). Parker and Dean (1976) found that in a series of pot experiments with O. punctata and rice, 18 herbicides were at least partially selective and the selectivity could be greatly increased when the crop seed was dressed with 1,8-naphthalic anhydride. However, it is unlikely that 1,8-naphthalic anhydride is currently available or being used. While there is a lack of evidence for the use of newer herbicides on this species, it is probable that the treatments suggested for control of O. rufipogon could usefully be applied.
ReferencesTop of page
Abo ME; Sy AA; Alegbejo MD, 1998. Rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV) in Africa: Evolution, distribution and economic significance on sustainable rice production and management strategies. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 11(2/3):85-111.
Aggarwal RK; Brar DS; Nandi S; Huang N; Khush GS, 1999. Phylogenetic relationships among Oryza species revealed by AFLP markers. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 98(8):1320-1328.
Akromah R, 1987. Rice germplasm resources in Ghana. Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter, No. 72:41-42.
Armstrong K, 1968. Weed control on a Swaziland rice and sugar-cane estate. Proceedings of the 9th Weed Control Conference, 9:687-693.
Borromeo TH; Ramirez DA, 1989. The cytogenetics of Oryza sativa L. and Oryza punctata Kotschy ex Steud. and their F1 hybrids. Philippine Agriculturist, 72(4):432-443.
Clayton WD, 1970. Gramineae (Part 1). In: Milne-Redhead E, Polhill RM, eds. Flora of Tropical East Africa. London, UK: Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations.
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Farooq S; Asghar M; Iqbal N; Shah TM, 1992. Variability in salt tolerance of accessions of wild rice species Oryza punctata and O. officinalis. International Rice Research Newsletter, 17(6):16.
Farooq S; Shah TM; Arif M; Iqbal N, 1996. Inheritance of RAPD markers in the F1 interspecific hybrids of rice. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 28(1):51-59.
Fernandes A; Laurent E; Wild H; eds, 1971. Flora Zambesiaca, Volume 10, Part 1. London, UK: Crown Agents.
Ghosh AK, 1978. Efficacy of herbicides for upland rice applied either alone or as tank-mixtures. In: Proceedings of the Sixth East African Weed Science Conference, 1976:179-186.
Hepper FN, ed. , 1972. Flora of West Tropical Africa, Volume III (Part 2), 2nd edn. London, UK: Crown Agents.
Heywood VH, 1978. Flowering Plants of the World. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Holm L; Pancho JV; Herberger JP; Plucknett DL, 1979. A Geographical Atlas of World Weeds. Toronto, Canada: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
Häfliger E; Scholz H, 1981. Grass Weeds 2: Weeds of the subfamilies Chloridoideae, Pooideae, Oryzoideae. Basle, Switzerland: Documenta CIBA GEIGY.
Ivens GW, 1989. East African Weeds and their Control, 2nd edition. Nairobi, Kenya: Oxford University Press.
Katayama TC, 1995. Cytogenetical studies on the genus Oryza. XIV. Intergeneric hybridizations between tetraploid Oryza species and diploid Leersia species. Japanese Journal of Genetics, 70(1):47-55.
Katayama TC, 1995. Grain morphology of wild rice in African countries (V). Memoirs of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kagoshima University, 31:1-43.
Katayama TC; Sumi A, 1995. Studies on agronomic traits of African rice (Oryza glaberrima Steud.). III. Some grain morphological aspects of domestication and decrement. Japanese Journal of Crop Science, 64(4):807-814.
Kaushal P, 1998. Crossability of wild species of Oryza with O. sativa cvs PR 106 and Pusa Basmati 1 for transfer of bacterial leaf blight resistance through interspecific hybridization. Journal of Agricultural Science, 130(4):423-430.
Kaushal P; Sidhu JS, 1998. Screening of wild Oryza species against bacterial leaf blight (Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae) pathotypes of Punjab (India). Plant Breeding, 117(5):491-493.
Lu BR; Naredo MEB; Macatangay M; Alvarez MT, 1997. Determination of chromosome numbers of wild Oryza species conserved in the International Rice Gene bank at IRRI. International Rice Research Notes, 22(2):5-6.
Ng NQ, 1991. Rice germplasm exploration and collecting in Africa since 1983. In: Rice germplasm. Collecting, preservation, use. In: Proceedings of Third International Workshop, Manila, Philippines, 10-12 May 1990. Manila, Philippines: IRRI, 21-22.
Reed CF, 1977. Economically Important Foreign Weeds: Potential Problems in the United States - Agriculture Handbook No. 498. Washington, USA: United States Department of Agriculture.
Salih OM; Nour AM, 1992. Nutritional quality of uncultivated cereal grains utilised as famine foods in western Sudan as measured by chemical analysis. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 58(3):417-424.
Sano Y, 1980. Adaptive strategies compared between the diploid and tetraploid forms of Oryza punctata. Botanical Magazine, 93(1031):171-180.
Stanfield DP, 1970. The Flora of Nigeria Grasses. Ibadan, Nigeria: Ibadan University Press.
USDA-ARS, 2003. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx
Velusamy R; Kumar MG; Edward YSJT; Ganesh Kumar M, 1995. Mechanisms of resistance to the brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens in wild rice (Oryza spp.) cultivars. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 74(3):245-251.
Watanabe N; Fujii C; Shirota M; Furuta Y, 1993. Changes in chlorophyll, thylakoid proteins and photosynthetic adaptation to sun and shade environments in diploid and tetraploid Oryza punctata Kotschy and diploid Oryza eichingeri Peter. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry Paris, 31(4):469-474.
Wirjahardja S; Guhardja E; Wiroatmodjo J, 1983. Wild rice and its control. In: Weed Control in rice. Los Banos; Philippines: IRRI, 319-325.
Wirjahardja S; Parker C, 1977. Chemical control of wild and red rice. Proceedings of the 6th Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society Conference, Indonesia, 1977. Volume 1, 315-321.
Zhang Q; Wang CL; Shi AN; Bai JF; Ling SC; Li DY; Chen CB; Pang HH, 1994. Evaluation of resistance to bacterial blight (Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae) in wild rice species. Scientia Agricultura Sinica, 27(5):1-9; 8 ref.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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