Characterising the adaptability in nature of plant stoichiometric patterns across geographic or environmental gradients is important in advancing our understanding of the organisation of plant–nutrient relationships. We examined correlations between plant nutrient traits, latitude, longitude, climate and soil variables in 34 populations of Oryza rufipogon across its range. We further compared the responses of population transplants at two experimental gardens: one beyond its northern natural range and another near the southern limit, to assess the nature of geographic variation in plant nutrients. The study showed that leaf P of O. rufipogon in the field was negatively correlated with latitude and largely depended on temperature and soil P availability. Leaf N was not related to latitude but was significantly correlated with precipitation and soil N concentration. Leaf N:P ratio was largely determined by absorption efficiency of P. Transplantation revealed that there were no significant associations of leaf nutrients with geographic, climatic or soil variables of origin in either of the experimental gardens, indicating phenotypic plasticity. However, examination of relationships between response ratios of leaf nutrients and change ratio of climate and soil environments, as well as norms of reaction in the transplantation experiment, revealed more complexity, suggesting both substantial genotypic diversity and the existence of genotype × environment interactions in these populations of O. rufipogon. These data indicate that adaptive plasticity response of plants to temperature and soil P availability significantly explain the observed shifts in leaf N, P and N:P of O. rufipogon along latitudinal gradients.