the agro-morphological characterization is fundamental in order to provide information for plant breeding programs. the aim of the present study was to characterize 146 accessions of upland rice (oryza sativa l.), based on qualitative and quantitative agro-morphological descriptors. the experiment was conducted in recife, state of pernambuco, brazil, using a randomized block design with three replicates. polymorphism was observed among 12 of 14 qualitative characters evaluated, whereas significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed for 11 of the 14 analysed quantitative traits. genetic variance was higher than environmental variance and the average inheritability coefficients were above 80 % for all characters, which ensures the predominance of the genetic components in the differences observed among accessions. on the cluster analysis for qualitative traits the accessions were classified in two groups with a total of 18 duplicates, whereas for the quantitative traits three groups were obtained with few subgroups. the principal component analysis for quantitative traits showed great dispersion of the accessions. the most divergent group of accessions included the genotypes mitsukasane, mie, tomoe mochi, ooba kirishima and nourin mochi 6, which showed a higher number of spicklets per plant. there is high variability among the rice accessions from the germplasm collection studied, which presents great importance for breeding programs or for genetic studies on this species.