Quaking Grass – Briza media

This delightfully named grass is one of my very favourites, especially when it goes to seed. They remind me a little of little hanging oriental lanterns, and the dry whisper sound it makes as a breeze stirs the dry husks is quite magical.

Height 40cm. A very distinctive perennial grass, the flowers in an open inflorescence and the dangling spikelets resembling miniature hops or cones held on wiry stalks. The leaves are pale green forming loose tufts.

It flowers June to September, and it is found on dry grassland, usually on calcareous soils. A native species, widespread and locally common, scarce in northern Scotland.