blue bonnet rice

topic posted Fri, June 4, 2010 - 10:50 PM by  Lady Bird
Anyone heard of this blue bonnet rice Baker Creek is selling this year? i have some, but i am wondering what it is exactly. They say it is grown by the Mayans, but how long has it been here? Is it a native variety or was it introduced by the Spanish?
Although there is a plant often called wild rice, this is not the same as the Asian rice, still a grain but different genus, zizania. There is a variety of zizania native to texas however, but i think this is still a marsh plant whereas bluebonnet is an upland rice.
I pulled the husk off one to see what the seed would look like, to me it looks like a medium grain Asian rice, though exceptionally white, almost as if already polished.
posted by:
Lady Bird
  • Re: blue bonnet rice

    Fri, June 18, 2010 - 8:57 AM
    The native texas Zizania is endangered:

    It pretty much grows in a very limited area on the San Marcos.

    I've been trying to find seeds of this species to cultivate, however the only 'stweard' is the lady bird wildflower center down south and they seemed to have little interest in 'amateur' help....

    I assume there just isnt enough of the genetics to spare for public consumption at this point....

    As far as the blue bonnet rice goes... it does seem to be an upland medium-long grain variety:

    Oryza sativa L. indica

    (while a little late in the season...) I'm about to start some 5gallon buckets as well as a 5x10 area 2' deep for handling greywater processing ending in a small rice paddy...

    best of luck and report back if you have any luck with other zizania species.
    • Re: blue bonnet rice

      Sat, June 26, 2010 - 12:34 PM
      Zizania seeds must be kept cool and wet, shipping them is tricky.

      Funny, i was discussing it on that seed savers forum too, more traffic there.

      Baker Creek actually wrote back to me about it, they said they contract the Mennonites to grow it (there is a Mennonite community in Mexico which originally offered them the seeds) and that they, not being big on being 'scholarly' don't know the history, just that it was given to them by the Mayans. I believe it likely came from the Spanish.

      It's actually not working as well for me as the plain brown rice i sprouted, not much is actually came up, whereas almost all the brown rice came up. They've both gotten heat and had been soaked in 'wonder water', good for hastening seed germination.
      It sounds scary, but it's just something my mother used to make, boil water and allow to boil for 5 minutes, covered, then cool. You can pour it into a jar right away if it's a strong jar or let it cool while covered in the pot. We have no idea how it works, but it definitely makes seeds start fast, very old seeds can germinate too.
      I am also starting late, started seeds in early june, i don't expect to get much of a harvest for food, but any seeds that mature early, and most grains i've seen mature some early seeds, i will collect and try to breed an earlier variety.