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Quaking Grasses

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Quaking Grass photos

Scientific Name:Briza spp.
Spikelets of Large Quaking Grass
Spikelets of Lesser Quaking Grass


Native to the Mediterranean region.

Plant Description:

Tufted annual grasses with hairless leaves to 20 cm long and 10 mm wide. Flower-heads are slender, open, panicles with capillary branches. Spikelets are plump and drooping. Two species in Victoria: Large Quaking Grass or Shelly Grass (
Briza maxima) has 7-20 flowered spikelets, 10-25 mm long and 8-15 mm wide; Lesser Quaking Grass (Briza minor) has 4-8 flowered spikelets, 3-5 mm long and wide.


Widespread (except for the Mallee) and common grasses, growing in waste-land, roadsides and other disturbed areas. Also found on the edges of swamps, lakes and water courses. Generally indicative of fresh-water habitats, these grasses may be found on the fringes of wet saline areas.

RegionSalinity ClassWaterlogging Class
Central and Northern, Wimmera, Western, GippslandS0, *S1W1, W2
*may be found on or fringing saline sites during the wetter parts of the year

Quaking Grasses photos

Flower-head of Large Quaking Grass
Flower-head of Large Quaking Grass
Photo: A J Brown
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