Increasing crop yield is a major challenge for modern agriculture. The development of new plant types, which is known as ideal plant architecture (IPA), has been proposed as a means to enhance rice yield potential over that of existing high-yield varieties. Here, we report the cloning and characterization of a semidominant quantitative trait locus, IPA1 (Ideal Plant Architecture 1), which profoundly changes rice plant architecture and substantially enhances rice grain yield. The IPA1 quantitative trait locus encodes OsSPL14 (SOUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE 14) and is regulated by microRNA (miRNA) OsmiR156 in vivo. We demonstrate that a point mutation in OsSPL14 perturbs OsmiR156-directed regulation of OsSPL14, generating an 'ideal' rice plant with a reduced tiller number, increased lodging resistance and enhanced grain yield. Our study suggests that OsSPL14 may help improve rice grain yield by facilitating the breeding of new elite rice varieties.