15 September 2007

Quaking Grass

On the edge of Douglas Park above Noe Valley, I found some terrific examples of Quaking Grass or Rattlesnack Grass (Briza maxima). It's a great grass with these upside-down diamond-shaped pods on thin stems that easily rattle in the wind.

According to some scholars, this was one of the first grasses to be grown for non-edible purposes and has long been valued for how it appears in dried flower arrangements.

Briza maxima is not native to California but it does not seem to be a major threat to the indigenous landscape. It has some great nicknames, notably Cowquakes and Didder. When you think about it, Cowquakes and Didder sounds like a British comedy duo from the 1950s.

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