Briza minor L.

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Briza minor

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba Botanic Garden

Briza minor

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba Botanic Garden

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Synonyms: Briza deltoidea Burm. f.
Briza virens L.
Common names: Lesser quaking grass (English)
Frequency: Local
Status: Introduced
A loosely caespitose annual. Culms 10-60 cm. tall, erect or more rarely geniculately ascending, 2-4-noded, slender, terete, glabrous, smooth. Leaf-sheaths somewhat loose, rounded, smooth. Ligule 3-6 mm. long, obtuse. Leaf-laminae 3-14 x 0·3-0·9 cm., narrowly lanceolate, tapering to a fine point, usually expanded, asperulous on the upper surface and along the margins. Panicle 4-15(20) cm. long, obovate in outline, with many spikelets; branches spreading or obliquely ascending, scaberulous. Pedicels 5-15 mm. long, capillary. Spikelets 3-5 x 3-6 mm., 4-8-flowered, triangular-ovate to circular in outline, pendulous, sometimes erect, green or occasionally tinged with purple, glabrous, somewhat glossy. 2-3·5 mm. long, 3-5-nerved, apex obtuse or sometimes bluntly acuminate. Lemmas 2-3 mm. long, 7-9-nerved, deeply concave, apex broadly obtuse, dorsally rounded, indurated and glossy at the centre with broad whitish-hyaline margins. Paleas with the wings inconspicuously ciliolate. Anthers c. 0-6 mm. long. Caryopsis c. 2·25 mm. long, light brown, ventrally flat, dorsally convex.
Notes: Superficially similar to B. maxima which has a less open panicle with much larger spikelets (10-25mm).
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In damp cultivated places and lawns.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Jul - Dec
Worldwide distribution: A native of the Mediteranean region, naturalised in wetter and temperate areas.
Zimbabwe distribution: C,E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

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 46 - 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 minor:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Briza minor

External websites:

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

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: Species information: Briza minor., retrieved 27 February 2024

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