Rice is a cereal crop- a member of the grass family, Graminae. This family is divided into a number of genera (subfamilies), one of which is Oryza. This genus is further divided into a number of sections, one of which is sativae. And there is a further subdivision into series one of which the rice grown in Asia is sativa. The botanical name for the rice grown in Asia then is Oryzasativa
Family: Graminae; Genus: Oryza; Section: sativae; Series: sativa.
Three most common sub-series of Oryza sativa are Japonica, Javanica and Indica.
Japonica is found in more moderate climate of Japan and Korea where it is popularly grown and consumed domestically. It is identifiable though its relatively shorter plant length and short, roundy rice grains. When cooked, its grains are moist and slightly sticky.
Javanica, ones with the larger grains, are commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines. Due to their low productivity, the cultivation of Javanica is only limited to the place they were first discovered.
Indica are more prone to warm, semitropical and tropical climate. They are the majority of rice grown all over Asia including India where, according to the botanic record, they were first seen. Later some varieties of Indica rice were also brought to America for the purpose of large scale farm production. Most representative varieties of Indica rice are Thai Hom Mali rice (Jasmine), Basmati and most other slender long-grained varieties. Suffice it to say that Indica are the world’s staple food.