Genus: Oryza (rice genus)
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Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants)
> Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants)
> Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering
plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Poales
> Family: Poaceae
There are about 25 species worldwide (tropics and
subtropics) of which three are native to southern Africa. Oryza
sativa (rice) has been cultivated in southern Africa, but most of the rice
eaten in the region is imported.
Species native to southern Africa
of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI) and
Flora of Zimbabwe.
Other species, cultivated in southern Africa
From Glen (2002).
Rice was domesticated in Asia at least 7000 years ago.
Over 90% of world rice production is in Asia where the monsoon rains favour
paddy rice, which needs to grow in wet conditions. Rice is a staple food among many people in southern Africa
but is derived almost exclusively from Asian imports and is rarely grown in this
region. In Asia, rice is not only used in eating but also used for making
alcoholic drinks such as saki in Japan.
Fish, L. 2003. Poaceae. In Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L.
(eds), Plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14:
1152-1194. National Botanical