Exotic (Weed): Large Quaking-grass (Briza maxima)

When growing in dense clumps, Large Quaking-grass is quite beautiful.

Also known as Blowflies, Blowfly Grass, Briza, Quaking Grass, Shell Grass and Shelly Grass, Large Quaking-grass is an exotic (weed).  I know this thanks to a local person I was fortunate enough to meet a couple of weeks ago.   We walked around the boundary and she shared her knowledge of plants native to this area, including grasses.  It was a wonderful morning and I learned a lot.  So this year I will begin to document our grasses as well as our flowers.

Last year I thought the Large Quaking-grass was beautiful, and was unaware it was a weed,  so, I left it in the ground and allowed it to seed.   This year it has spread quite a bit, but mainly around our boundary fences, having come in from the roadside or other properties.  I also find it growing beneath trees, so I guess birds also spread it.  Fortunately this grass is fairly shallow rooted and so if I see a small patch surrounding a tree, I’ve begun to pull it out.

We have too much Quaking-grass along the front fence to remove it all, but thankfully it hasn’t yet got a large foothold in the bush at the back.  There is one small section to clear from this area to prevent it spreading into the centre of the bushland.  Those who know me well will laugh to think I am beginning to weed the bushland when I rarely find time to weed the cultivated garden, but I treasure our native wildflowers so much, I don’t want them to be crowded out by an invasive species.  So, one step at a time, bit by bit, I will try to rid our property of this grass.

It’s easy to see where the name ‘Blowfly Grass’ came from, although I may have chosen to call it Bee Grass if it was left up to me.





4 thoughts on “Exotic (Weed): Large Quaking-grass (Briza maxima)

  1. I like this grass and didn’t realize it was a weed but I guess that depends where you live. It doesn’t seem to appear every year here in this part of the Adelaide Hills so maybe it’s not its ideal location. Love your photo of it.

    1. Yes, I initially thought it might be a native grass, which is why I left it and didn’t check it last year. Given a lot of the new spots are beneath tress, I think the birds probably spread it around. I agree that it is pretty. Lisa 🙂

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