Briza maxima L.

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Briza maxima

Photo: Bart Wursten
Woodland Rd, Vumba

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Common names: Giant quaking-grass (English) Greater quaking-grass (English)
Description: A loosely tufted annual. Culms (10)20-70 cm. tall, 2-4-noded, simple, terete, slender, erect or ascending from a geniculate base, smooth. Leaf-sheaths often tinged with purple, loose, striate, dorsally rounded, glabrous, smooth. Ligule 2-5 mm. long. Leaf-laminae 5-25 x 0·25-0·75 cm., pale-green, tapering to an acute point, usually expanded, flaccid, glabrous, scaberulous along the edges. Panicles 4-10 cm. long, rather loose, with (1)3-12 Spikelets, usually pendulous; axis very slender. Pedicels up to 2 cm. long, capillary, very flexible. Spikelets 15-25 x 8-14 mm., 7-20-flowered, pale-green to silver-green (often especially the glumes) purplish to red-brown, broadly ovate-cordate in outline, glabrous or often shortly pilose. Glumes 5-7 mm. long, often purplish, 7- (inconspicuously 9) nerved, broadly ovate from a cordate base, apex rounded to obtusely acuminate. Lemmas 6-7·5 mm. long, dorsally rounded, 7-9-nerved, broadly ovate, apex shortly acuminate, usually shortly pilose; the hairs tipped with glands. Paleas with the narrow wings shortly ciliate. Anthers 2-2·25 mm. long. Caryopsis c. 2·5 mm. long, light brown, broadly obovate to almost circular in outline.
Derivation of specific name:
Flowering time:Jul - Dec
Worldwide distribution: Mediterranean region
Growth form(s):
Insects associated with this species:
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Image last updated: Monday 13 August 2007

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 10.

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 45 - 47. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 101.

Other sources of information about Briza maxima:

Our websites:

Flora of Zimbabwe: Briza maxima

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Briza maxima
African Plant Database: Briza maxima
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Briza maxima
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Briza maxima
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Briza maxima
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Briza maxima
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Briza maxima
JSTOR Plant Science: Briza maxima
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Briza maxima
Plants of the World Online: Briza maxima
Tropicos: Briza maxima
Wikipedia: Briza maxima

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated Plants: Species information: Briza maxima., retrieved 19 June 2024

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