Wild rice is any of the four species of plants that make up the genus Zizania, whereas rice is a monocot plant of the Oryza sativa genus. Thus, wild rice is not a rice species.
Wild rice is an aquatic cereal grain that grows "wild" in isolated lake and river bed areas located primarily within the Great Lakes region of North America. It is also native to ecologically similar regions located on the continent of Asia.
This ancient grain has been found in layers of the earth dating back some 12,000 years. In addition to its role as an important food staple for ancestral peoples, it has provided a unique habitat for fish and waterfowl for thousands of years.
Wild rice is high in protein, the amino acid lysine and dietary fiber, and low in fat. Like true rice, it does not contain gluten.