categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

QUAKING-GRASS

Briza media

Grasses Family [Poaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

category
category8Grasses
status
statusZnative
flower
flower8purple flower8beetroot
inner
inner8white
inner
inner8green
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ0
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round

5th July 2013, Hampsfell, Cark in Cartmel, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
A grass which grows to about 50cm, up to 75cm.


10th June 2009, Smardale, Yorkshire Dales. Photo: © RWD
The florets, over 20 in number per plant, are rhombic in outline and dangle on very thin stalks which are twisted and contorted as the aerodynamically unstable florets dance wildly in the slightest breeze. The extremely wiry thin petioles of the florets are contorted into spiral zig-zags as if they were once wound around something before they all broke loose.


5th July 2013, Hampsfell, Cark in Cartmel, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The florets (spikelets) are deep-purple or beetroot coloured.


5th July 2013, Hampsfell, Cark in Cartmel, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
As they ripen they open up slightly. Each floret is only 4-7mm long.


5th July 2013, Hampsfell, Cark in Cartmel, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The lemmas are curved on the upperside, and overlap alternately, making for a somewhat flattened shape. If shaken they rattle inside faintly.


5th July 2013, Hampsfell, Cark in Cartmel, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The lemmas are deep-purple on top, with white edges, and expose a little green as they open slightly. Each thin beetroot-coloured stalk looks as though it is tacked onto other stalks by a blob of glue. Showing a little of the thin edge.


5th July 2013, Hampsfell, Cark in Cartmel, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
A close-up.


28th May 2018, Grin low, Buxton, White Peaks, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Something your Author has never noticed before: there are slight lumps in the thin red stalks of the lemmas. There are also maybe 10 minute longitudinal grooves on the main stems of the plant.


28th May 2018, Grin low, Buxton, White Peaks, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
There are minute striations on the lemmas.


The differences between the three Quaking-grasses in the UK:

  • Greater Quaking-grass (Briza major) Height 75cm, florets: <15, 8-25mm, light-green with dark-purple top
  • Quaking-grass (Briza maxima) Height 75cm, florets: >20, 4-7mm, dark-purple + light-green
  • Lesser Quaking-grass (Briza minor) Height 60cm, florets :>20, 2.5-5mm, light-green
All three rattle inside when shaken because of the loose seeds within the ripe fruit.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : the rattling of loose things inside the florets

It is native and found on grassland, especially on lime soils.


  Briza media  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Poaceae  

Distribution
 family8Grasses family8Poaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Briza
Briza
(Quaking-Grasses)

QUAKING-GRASS

Briza media

Grasses Family [Poaceae]