The Rice Plant and How it Grows

Cultivated rice is a semi-aquatic annual A plant which completes its life cycle in one year or less. The plant dies after flowering or maturity. grass, although in the tropics it can survive as a perennial Plants which require more than one year to complete their life cycle., producing new tillers from nodes after harvest (ratoon New tillers which grow from the stubble of harvested plants. These new tillers constitute the ratoon crop. rice). A mature rice plant has a main stem and several tillers (or side branches), each productive tiller bearing a terminal flowering head or panicle The terminal shoot of the rice plant that produces grain.. Plant height varies with the variety A variety is subdivision of a species. That is, it is a group of individuals within a species which is distinct in form or function from other similar arrays of individuals. Good varieties have such desirable characters as: high yields, good quality, resistance to the main diseases and insects and an adaptation to some adverse conditions. and environmental conditions, ranging from around 0.4 m to more than 5 m in deepwater rice varieties.


Roots of the rice plant develop from nodes. There are two major types of roots. Crown roots (including mat roots) develop from nodes below the soil surface. Roots that develop from nodes above the soil surface are usually referred to as nodal roots.


The growth period of the rice plant is 3 to 6 months (90 to 180 days), depending on the variety and the environment in which it is grown. During this time there are three distinct growth phases:


  1. vegetative,

  2. reproductive, and

  3. ripening.


Click any of the above links to learn more about each phase.


Diagram illustrating crop growth stages