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Briza maxima, photo courtesy of Paroli Galperti/Cubo Images/Photolibrary
Briza maxima, photo courtesy of Paroli Galperti/Cubo Images/Photolibrary

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Zone
Zones 1-24
Full Sun
Full
Minimal Water
Minimal

Briza maxima

Rattlesnake Grass, Quaking Grass

Annuals, Ornamental grasses and grasslike plants

An ornamental grass of delicate, graceful form, this Mediterranean native is often planted for its seed heads. Grows 1–2 ft. high, with 1/4-in.-wide, 6-in.-long leaves. Clusters of seed-bearing spikelets dangle from threadlike stems held above the plant. The dry, papery spikelets really do look like rattlesnake rattles.

Scatter seed where plants are to grow; thin to 1 ft. apart. Self-sows, often naturalizing along roadsides and in fields.

B. media is similar but is perennial.

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