Oryza sativa 'Red Dragon'

Common Name: rice plant 
Type: Annual
Family: Poaceae
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 1.50 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: August
Bloom Description: Yellowish-green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual, Water Plant, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Attracts: Birds


Rice plant is grown in moist to wet soils in full sun. Best foliage color occurs in full sun. Plants require ample moisture, including being submerged in several inches of water. Plants are typically grown in a garden-type soil (avoid artificial potting mixes) in a variety of ways including (1) in pots sunk to the rim in garden areas, with pot soil kept boggy wet, (2) in pots/containers with soil surface submerged to depth of about 2” of water, (3) as a pond marginal or (4) directly in the garden with soils kept consistently moist. Seeds (rice) may be harvested in early autumn for planting the following year.

‘Red Dragon’ generally comes true from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Oryza sativa, commonly called rice plant, is a grass family annual that is native to Southeast Asia. It is cultivated around the world for production of rice. Species plants are grown as a food crop and not for ornamental purposes. It typically grows in a clump to 30” tall featuring flat linear leaves. Flowers are insignificant. Drooping lime green panicles of rice rise slightly above the foliage in mid to late summer, ripening to brown by early autumn. When ripe, the rice may be harvested for planting the following spring.

Genus name is derived from the Latin and Greek oryza which in turn came from an Asiatic name.

Specific epithet means cultivated.

‘Red Dragon’ is a cultivar that is grown ornamentally because of its excellent burgundy red foliage.


Rice is susceptible to a number of diseases including sheath blight, rots, smut, blast, brown patch and other leaf diseases.


Containers, water gardens, pond marginal, bog gardens, moist garden areas.