Briza maxima L.
big quaking grass
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Virginia Skilton     (Photo ID #57368)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Briza maxima
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Species Information

Annual grass from fibrous roots; stems hollow, erect or abruptly bent below, 20-60 cm tall.
Sheaths open, smooth; blades flat, 3-8 mm wide, the margins rough short-hairy; ligules membranous, 2-5 mm long.
Inflorescence a panicle 2-10 cm long, with all flowers and branches borne on one side of the rachis, drooping at the tips, the branches usually solitary, each with 1 to 3 spikelets, the spikelets 1 to 12, 10-20 (25) mm long, 7- to 20-flowered, drooping from slender stalks, smooth or appressed-hairy, often reddish-brown, articulating above the glumes; glumes 5-7 mm long, concave, nearly globe-shaped, 5- to 9-nerved, more or less leathery; lemmas 6-8 mm long, similar to the glumes, 7- to 9-nerved; paleas up to 2/3 as long as the lemmas; lodicules 2, thin, membranous, about 0.7 mm long; ovaries smooth; anthers scarcely 1 mm long.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Spring
Source:  The USDA

Habitat and Range

Dry disturbed sites and waste areas in the lowland and steppe zones; rare in SW and SC BC; introduced from Europe.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia