Common Quaking-grass

Name: Common Quaking-grass

Scientific name: Briza media

Category: Grasses

Nature Stars: 50

What are nature stars?


Gently shivering in the breeze, the loose heads of Quaking-grass (appearing from June to September) are a distinctive feature of meadows and grasslands, particularly those on chalky soils.


How to identify: It has heart-shaped green and purple spikelets (containing flowers) which look a little like miniature hops. These are held in loosely in clusters on fine stems.


Locally common in England and Wales.

Fantastic fact: The flower heads of Quaking-grass dance on delicate stems during windy weather, giving the plant many different common names such as Totter Grass, Dithery Dock, Wigwams and Toddling Grass.

Photograph credit: Bruce Shortland

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