MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rice (Oryza sativa) has been grown in the Camargue for over 400 years, but with variable results until the 1990s when new varieties and practices were introduced. Now France produces 115 thousand tonnes, 70% from the Camargue region. Planted in flooded fields in May, the paddies are drained in autumn and the rice reaches maturity in early October. This semiaquatic grass is dark green at the beginning, but becomes amber as it matures and the panicles bend under the weight of the spikelets of rice. Both long and short grained rice are grown in the Camargue (including Camargue red rice). Seen here is a round, or short grained, variety that is usually sold polished for puddings and risottos. Polishing removes the brown pericarp. Photographed in Arles, France.
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