Briza media (Quaking Grass)

Full Sun
Light/Partial Shade
Soil Type:
Mainly dry
Soil Type:
Moist But Well-Drained

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Plant Overview

A very pretty perennial wild grass. This British Native 'Quaking Grass' is named after the delicate branching heads of green-purple flowers which appear to tremble or quake in the breeze. 

The green-grey foliage remains short and the flower/seed heads reach up to approx 50cm from June. One of the best wild grasses for a border or can be planted in a wildflower meadow and allowed to naturalise.

Sadly this grass is not nearly as prevalent in the UK as it used to be, due to the loss of wildflower meadows.

Height: 50cm

Common names: Quaking grass, cow-quake, didder, dithering-grass, dodder-grass, doddering dillies, doddle-grass, earthquakes, jiggle-joggles, jockey-grass, lady's-hair, maidenhair-grass, pearl grass, quakers, quakers-and-shakers, shaking-grass, tottergrass, trimmling-jockies, wag-wantons (and many more)

Myth and Legend

In Wiltshire, there is a tradition that parents would tell their children that if the flower spikes of this grass should stop trembling, they would turn in to sixpences. 

In some parts of the country it is said that taking the grass inside would keep mice away:

A Trimmling Jock i' t' house

And you weeant hav' a mouse

It is said that cows would never stand on or eat quaking grass.

In the past quaking grass has been used to treat ague and fevers.

Picture: Carl Axel Magnus Lindman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

All our plants are supplied in 9cm pots unless otherwise specified. Plants in this size pot establish quickly in the garden and often outpace plants in bigger pots planted at the same time. Our potted plants can be planted immediately, unless otherwise noted, or you can leave them in their pots until you are ready to plant.
The majority of our plants are grown outdoors. This means that they follow their natural growth patterns and are ready to plant at any time of the year. If you order the plants in winter, they are likely to be dormant and died back to ground level, ready to shoot again in spring - just like the herbaceous perennials in your own garden. Very occasionally, in winter, we may indicate on the packing slip that a plant needs to be hardened off before planting out. This will be because it has just come out of a polytunnel. If you have any questions about our plants or growing methods, please feel free to drop us an email.
We grow most of what we sell ourselves, in our nursery in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Our prices include VAT at 20%.