Quaking Grass

21st Jan 2021

Quaking Grass

Quaking Grass is a British native grass which is sadly less common than it once was. It is found across the country and, like most native plants, it has different 'common' names in different areas.

For example, on the Isle of Wight, it is known as Wiggle Waggle; in Yorkshire it's called Dithery Docks and in South Wales it answers to the name of Shivery Shakes. All these names come about because the purple and green heart-shaped flower heads quiver or shake in the wind as they hang from their delicate stems.

Surprisingly, according to an old Wiltshire rhyme, it can be used to keep mice away from the house.

A Trimmling Jock i' t' house,

And you weeant hav' a mouse.

Wiltshire children would be warned that if the flower spikes should stop trembling, they would turn into sixpences.
In the garden it can be planted in the border or in a large container, where it will grow into a reasonably sized clump and reach about 50cm high.

View the plant details in the shop here.

(Photo: Carl Axel Magnus Lindman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)