Briza (Quaking grass)



Briza is a genus of annual and perennial grasses in the family Poaceae, comprising about 12 species. It is native to north temperate regions. Briza's common name is Quaking Grass because the flower and seedheads tremble on their stalks in breezes. Other common names include Big Quaking Grass, Great Quaking Grass, Large Quaking Grass, Blowfly Grass, Shelly Grass. Briza has linear leaves and the flowers take the form of little purple-brown spikelets. Some species are grown as ornamental plants. Briza species are used by larvae of some Lepidoptera ( Butterflies and moths ) species as food plant such as Coleophora lixella.

In spring to late summer, Briza maxima ( Great Quaking Grass) produces panicles of green, heart-shaped spikelets, which gradually change color to pale yellow-brown. Its leaves are pale green, and make a loose clump.

Briza media (Common Quaking Grass) has pendent spikelets which lasts through summer, with the color changing from green, to reddish-purple, and then matures to light brown-yellow.

Briza minor (Lesser Quaking Grass) has inflorescences which are pale green at first, change to purplish then yellow-brown.

Briza is also useful in dried flower arrangement. It needs full sun and well-drained soil. Propagation is by seed in spring, or division in late spring. Briza is easy to grow but can be invasive.

Briza maximaBriza maxima
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Briza_maxima_11.JPG
authorshipXemenendura
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Briza maximaBriza maxima
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Briza_maxima_001.JPG
authorshipH. Zell
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Briza maximaBriza maxima
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Briza_maxima_003.JPG
authorshipH. Zell
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Briza mediaBriza media
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Briza_media.JPG
authorshipThomas Mathis
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Briza mediaBriza media
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Briza_media_spikelet.jpg
authorshipDluogs
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Briza minorBriza minor
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Briza_minor_(Habitus).jpg
authorshipIxitixel
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Briza minorBriza minor
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Briza_minor_japan.JPG
authorshipShow_yu
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