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Cut Grass

Leersia oryzoides

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Poaceae (Grass)
Also in this family:
Alpine Catstail, Alpine Foxtail, Alpine Meadow-grass, Annual Beard-grass, Annual Meadow-grass, Arrow Bamboo, Barren Brome Grass, Bearded Couch Grass, Bearded Fescue, Bermuda Grass, Black Bent, Black Grass, Blue Fescue, Blue Moor-grass, Bog Hair-grass, Borrer's Saltmarsh Grass, Bread Wheat, Bristle Bent, Brown Bent, Brown Sedge, Bulbous Foxtail, Bulbous Meadow-grass, California Brome Grass, Canary Grass, Carnation Sedge, Cocksfoot, Cockspur, Common Bent, Common Cord-grass, Common Millet, Common Reed, Common Saltmarsh Grass, Compact Brome Grass, Corn, Couch Grass, Creeping Bent, Creeping Soft-grass, Crested Dog's-tail, Crested Hair-grass, Cultivated Oat, Curved Hard Grass, Dense Silky Bent, Downy Oat-grass, Drooping Brome Grass, Drooping Tor Grass, Dune Fescue, Early Hair-grass, Early Meadow-grass, Early Sand-grass, False Brome Grass, False Oat-grass, Fern Grass, Fine-leaved Sheep's Fescue, Flattened Meadow-grass, Floating Sweet-grass, Foxtail Barley, French Oat, Giant Fescue, Glaucous Meadow-grass, Great Brome Grass, Greater Quaking Grass, Grey Hair-grass, Hairy Brome Grass, Hairy Finger-grass, Hard Fescue, Hard Grass, Harestail Grass, Heath Grass, Holy Grass, Hybrid Marram Grass, Italian Rye Grass, Knotroot Bristlegrass, Lesser Hairy Brome Grass, Lesser Quaking Grass, Loose Silky Bent, Lyme Grass, Marram Grass, Marsh Foxtail, Mat Grass, Mat-grass Fescue, Meadow Barley, Meadow Fescue, Meadow Foxtail, Meadow Oat-grass, Mountain Melick, Narrow-leaved Meadow-grass, Narrow-leaved Small-reed, Neglected Couch Grass, Nit Grass, Orange Foxtail, Pampas Grass, Perennial Rye Grass, Plicate Sweet-grass, Purple Moor-grass, Purple Small-reed, Purple-stem Catstail, Quaking Grass, Ratstail Fescue, Red Fescue, Reed Canary Grass, Reed Sweet-grass, Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass, Rescue Grass, Rough Meadow-grass, Rush-leaved Fescue, Sand Catstail, Sand Couch Grass, Scandinavian Small-reed, Scottish Small-reed, Sea Barley, Sea Couch Grass, Sea Fern Grass, Sheep's Fescue, Silver Hair-grass, Six-rowed Barley, Slender Brome Grass, Small Cord-grass, Small Sweet-grass, Smaller Catstail, Smooth Brome Grass, Smooth Cord-grass, Smooth Finger-grass, Smooth Meadow-grass, Soft Brome Grass, Somerset Hair-grass, Sorghum, Spreading Meadow-grass, Squirreltail Fescue, Stiff Brome Grass, Stiff Saltmarsh Grass, Sweet Vernal Grass, Tall Fescue, Timothy Grass, Tor Grass, Tufted Hair-grass, Two-rowed Barley, Upright Brome Grass, Velvet Bent, Viviparous Fescue, Wall Barley, Wavy Hair-grass, Wavy Meadow-grass, Whorl Grass, Wild Oat, Wood Barley, Wood Fescue, Wood Meadow-grass, Wood Melick, Wood Millet, Yellow Oat-grass, Yorkshire Fog
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Ditches, fields, marshes, mud, riverbanks, riversides, swamps, waterside, wetland.

Green, no petals
The inflorescence is a terminal panicle of spikelets, up to 10 inches (25cm) long. Each spikelet has one floret on a very thin, wavy branch.
The fruit is a caryopsis, like all grass species.
Yellowish-green, linear leaves. The edges of the leaves are very rough and finely toothed. Leaf blades measure a maximum of 1cm wide. Hairy at leaf junctions. Perennial.
Other Names:
Cut-grass, Rice Cutgrass.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Leersia oryzoides, also known as rice cutgrass, is a species of grass in the genus Leersia. It is native to North America, and can be found in wetland habitats such as marshes, swamps, and along the banks of streams and rivers. It is a perennial grass that forms dense clumps, and can grow to a height of up to 3 feet. The leaves are long and narrow, with a distinctive white midrib. The plant produces spikes of small, white flowers in the summer.

It's been used as forage for livestock and wildlife, and it is also used in wetland restoration and as a stabilizer of river banks. Due to its tolerance to flooding and ability to grow in submerged conditions, it's been used for improving water quality in constructed wetlands.


Cut Grass (Leersia oryzoides) is a common grass species found in wetlands and along the edges of streams and ponds. It is a member of the Poaceae family and is native to North America. Cut Grass is also commonly known as Rice Cut Grass, because its appearance is similar to that of rice plants.


Cut Grass has long, slender, green leaves that grow up to 3 feet tall. The leaves are flat and can grow up to 1/4 inch wide. The stems of Cut Grass are thin and upright, and they can grow up to 6 feet tall. The flowers of Cut Grass are small and greenish-white, and they are clustered at the tips of the stems.


Cut Grass grows in wetlands and along the edges of streams, ponds, and other bodies of water. It can tolerate periods of flooding and can even grow partially submerged in water. Cut Grass is also tolerant of a wide range of soil types, including clay, loam, and sand.

Ecological Importance

Cut Grass is an important plant for wetland ecosystems. It provides habitat and food for a variety of animals, including waterfowl, songbirds, and mammals. The plant's long, slender leaves are an important food source for muskrats, beavers, and other herbivores. In addition, the roots of Cut Grass help to stabilize soil and prevent erosion in wetland areas.

Cultural Significance

Cut Grass has been used by Native American tribes for a variety of purposes. The Iroquois used the plant to make baskets, while the Cherokee used it to make brooms and mats. The plant's long leaves were also used to make roofing material for houses.

Cut Grass is a fascinating plant that plays an important role in wetland ecosystems. Its long, slender leaves provide habitat and food for a variety of animals, and its roots help to stabilize soil and prevent erosion. The plant's cultural significance adds to its value as an important part of North American flora.


Cut Grass (Leersia oryzoides) is a versatile plant with a range of uses and benefits. In addition to its ecological and cultural significance, it has several other applications as well.

Fodder for Livestock

Cut Grass can be used as fodder for livestock, particularly during the winter months when other food sources are scarce. It is high in protein and can provide essential nutrients to cattle, sheep, and other grazing animals.

Soil Remediation

Cut Grass has been used in soil remediation projects to help clean up contaminated areas. The plant's roots have been shown to absorb and accumulate heavy metals and other pollutants from the soil, effectively removing them from the environment.

Landscape Design

Cut Grass is a popular plant for use in landscape design. Its tall, slender stems and delicate flowers can add texture and interest to gardens, and its ability to grow in wet soils makes it a good choice for rain gardens and other water features.


Cut Grass is also used in scientific research, particularly in the study of plant biology and ecology. Its ability to grow in a wide range of soil types and conditions makes it a useful model organism for studying plant adaptation and stress response.

Cut Grass (Leersia oryzoides) is a versatile plant with a range of ecological, cultural, and practical applications. Its importance in wetland ecosystems, as well as its ability to provide food, remediate contaminated soils, and add beauty to landscapes, make it a valuable and fascinating part of North American flora.


Cut Grass (Leersia oryzoides) is also known for its medicinal properties. Traditional uses of the plant include the treatment of coughs, colds, and sore throats, as well as the reduction of fever and inflammation.

Cut Grass contains several bioactive compounds, including flavonoids and triterpenoids, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These compounds are thought to be responsible for the plant's medicinal benefits.

Recent studies have also shown that Cut Grass may have potential as a treatment for cancer. In laboratory studies, extracts of the plant were found to have anti-tumor properties and were effective in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Cut Grass is also being studied for its potential as a biofuel. The plant's high biomass production and ability to grow in wet soils make it a promising candidate for use in bioenergy production.

Despite its many uses and benefits, Cut Grass is considered a weed in some areas, particularly in rice fields where it can compete with rice plants for nutrients and resources. However, in wetland habitats and other natural areas, Cut Grass is an important component of the ecosystem and provides valuable services to wildlife and the environment.

In conclusion, Cut Grass is a versatile and valuable plant with a range of ecological, cultural, practical, and medicinal uses. Its importance in wetland ecosystems, as well as its potential as a biofuel and cancer treatment, make it a fascinating and important part of North American flora.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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