Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Quaking grass

1. Briza media called ‘cuckoo tears grass’ in Russia; told to me by a Russian volunteer in the Wildlife Garden [Natural History Museum, London, May 2017].

2.  Known as totty grass when I was young [c.1960] in Surrey [Wantage, Oxfordshire, June 2011; also Lexden, Essex, October 2004].

3. In Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Briza media has been known as doddering dillies [Trefonen, Shropshire, January 2009].

4. [Isle of Wight] Wiggle waggle or wibbly wobbly – quaking grass (Briza media) [Fair Oak, Hampshire, January 2007].

5. We knew quaking grass as dithery docks in the Cleveland area of North Yorkshire [anon., October 2004].

6. Names for Briza media contributed at a meeting of the Botanical Society of the British Isles:
Joey jingles – Hampshire
Shivery shakes – south Wales
Dothery dock – North Yorkshire
[London, November 1998].

7. My father, who originally came from Bournemouth, always called Briza media wagwonts, which I presume must be a Dorset local name [Syston, Leicestershire, January 1991].

8. Wildflower names used in Wiltshire …
Wigwams – quaking grass [Rowde, Wiltshire, 1982].

Image:  Happy Valley, London Borough of Croydon; June 2015.

For further names see the Local Names page on this website.