Quaking Grass (Briza media)
Key facts about Quaking Grass
- Height: 10-40cm
- Flowering Time: June – August
- Flower colour: purple tinged green ripening to light brown
- Growth habit: Perennial grass with creeping roots
- Habitat: Found almost everywhere in the UK with the exception of the far South West of England and the North Western region of Scotland. Loves unimproved species rich grass land on chalky soils.
- Appears in: Meadowmat for Birds and Bees
A pretty grass with delicate fronds that dance in the breeze. We like it because it’s not in the least bit invasive and won’t outcompete wildflowers growing alongside it. Rather, the flower heads complement the plants around it and add a whole extra layer of interest to a garden.
Plants have smooth, flat leaves with a silvery grey tinge to them. Foliage tends to sit at the bottom of the sward – it’s only the flowering spikes that reach up to the sky.
Flower heads are delicate with little spikelets that look like drops of water suspended from the stem. Each spikelet is 4-5mm long.
Also known as “Totter Grass”, “Dithery Dock” and “Toddling Grass”
Uses for Quaking Grass
This is not a productive grass. It’s not bulky enough to make hay and whilst it’s palatable for livestock, it’s not a popular pasture grass.
Nevertheless it’s a beautiful plant and deserves a place in our gardens. Particularly if you are keen to attract more birds to your outdoor space. If you are of the mind, Quaking grass works well in flower arrangements and the flower spikes can be dried for ornamental indoor displays.
We’ve included Quaking Grass in our Birds and Bees Meadowmat for lots of good reasons
- Slow to germinate won’t swamp the flowering plants as they develop.
- Easy to grow and not susceptible to disease
- Beautiful seed heads
- Seeds are valuable source of food for linnets, sparrows, yellowhammers and greenfinches
- Copes really well with impoverished conditions
- Reasonably drought tolerant
- Frost hardy
Grasses are an important element in our Meadowmat varieties. They perform a vital role in ecosystems, help to stabilise the soil and also make wildflower turf easier to install.
This article explains more about the different varieties of Meadowmat and where to use them in the garden. Read the article here