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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Rice Cutgrass - Leersia oryzoides

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3S4
(see State Rank Reason below)
C-value: 8

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Leersia oryzoides is widespread in the United States (FNA 2007). In Montana herbarium collections are few, though it can be common along parts of the Missouri. It seems that Leersia oryzoides may be overlooked in Montana because it often grows aquatic in inaccessible areas or within dense stream-side vegetation. It tolerates some disturbance and disperses itself when its sticky hairs cling to passersby. Current information to better document its State distribution, population sizes, threats, and natural history is greatly needed.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Rice Cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 09/13/2017
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Range Extent

    ScoreF - 20,000-200,000 sq km (~8,000-80,000 sq mi)

    Area of Occupancy

    ScoreC - 3-5 4-km2 grid cells

    Number of Populations

    ScoreA - 1 - 5

    Number of Occurrences or Percent Area with Good Viability / Ecological Integrity

    ScoreA - No occurrences with excellent or good (A or B) viability or ecological integrity


    ScoreD - Low

    CommentThreat category includes: Recreational activities.

General Description
Cool season, rhizomatous perennial. Stems 80–160 cm, solitary to bunched, often rooting at nodes. Leaves: blades 7–14 mm wide, flat and lax; sheaths retrorsely scabrous with overlapping margins; ligules membranous, truncate, 0.8–1 mm long. Inflorescence an open panicle 10–25 cm long. Spikelets 4–5 mm long, with one floret; glumes lacking. Lemma bristly, awnless; palea equaling lemma and tightly clasped within it. Disarticulation above the glumes; dispersal unit the floret (Lavin in Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
Widespread but only locally common throughout most of North America except at extreme northern latitudes (Lavin in Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 11

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Sporadic along fresh-water lake and stream margins (Lavin in Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Cronquist, A., A. H. Holmgren, N. H. Holmgren, J. L. Reveal, and P. K. Holmgren. 1977. Intermountain flora: Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Volume 6: The Monocotyledons. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. 584 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • McGregor, R.L. (coordinator), T.M. Barkley, R.E. Brooks, and E.K. Schofield (eds). 1986. Flora of the Great Plains: Great Plains Flora Association. Lawrence, KS: Univ. Press Kansas. 1392 pp.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Britton, N. L. and A. B. Brown. 1913. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada, and the British Possessions. 2nd Edition in 3 Volumes. New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons. B13BRI01PAUS.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Rice Cutgrass — Leersia oryzoides.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from