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BRIZA media

Image of Briza media

James H. Schutte

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

BRIZA media

Plant Common Name

Perennial Quaking Grass

General Description

Common quaking grass is a perennial, tufted grass grown mostly for its interesting seed pods. It is native to Eurasia and naturalized in the cooler regions of North America. The leaves are linear, narrow, flat, upright and green to blue-green in color. Common quaking grass spreads slowly by rhizome (underground stem). Flowers are small and green held in lacy branched heads on stiff, leafless stalks well above the foliage, doubling the size of the plant. They appear later spring into summer. The fruit provides the show, after the flowers fade, heart-shaped, papery, stacked seed pods appear suspended from thread thin attachments; when the slightest breeze blows, the seed pods dance or quake. The color of the young seed pods is purple to green maturing to straw colored.

Common quaking grass is not picky about soil as long as it is well-drained. It prefers full sun, though will tolerate a bit of shade. Cut the seed heads for drying and to encourage additional foliage growth. Common quaking grass is not fond of very hot weather; however it generally holds its color and growth returns when the weather cools. Common quaking grass looks best when used in masses.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Green, Purple

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Gold, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gold, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Tan, Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Dried Flower / Everlasting, Bedding Plant, Cutflower, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Foundation, Groundcover, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes