Briza maxima

Greater quaking grass

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour

Light green


Attractive seed-heads



Skill level


photo by Heather Edwards, copyright GAP Photos (260031)
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Plant details

Greater quaking grass is one of the best-known annual grasses and a great favourite with flower-arrangers who covet the graceful nodding heads of subtly coloured flowers, which are segmented and shaped like a small lantern. In the garden these nod gently in the breeze and remain decorative for some time before shedding their seeds. They are best grown in groups for impact, and may be sown where they are to grow. Alternatively, the flower stems may be cut and hung upside-down to dry slowly for indoor decorations over winter. Save some of the seeds for future years.

Family: Poaceae

Genus: Briza

Species: maxima

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Light green

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Attractive seed-heads

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 60cm

Spread: 60cm

Time to plant seeds: September to May

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