Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Lesser Quaking-grass - Briza minor   L.
Members of Poaceae:
Only member of Briza in NC.
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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DistributionCoastal Plain, Outer Banks/barrier islands, and southern Piedmont; rare in the Sandhills proper.

Native to the Mediterranean region; in eastern N.A. from VA to FL, TX, OK, and AR.
AbundanceGenerally uncommon to locally fairly common throughout. This species seems to be expanding its range in NC within the past 2-3 decades, and can be frequently seen in some southern Coastal Plain counties now.
HabitatDry sandy soil of roadsides, lawns, campuses, parking lots, disturbed areas, vacant lots.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting April-June.
IdentificationLesser Quaking-grass attracts attention due to the dangling spikelets that quiver in a breeze. Each spikelet looks like a miniature tail button of a rattlesnake. The inflorescence can be as large as the rest of the plant, longer than broad or broader than long, and quite open when mature.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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US Status
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