Friday, July 22, 2011

Urban Gem

Greater Quaking-grass, Briza maxima
Plant species that are considered scarce are generally found in places with little disturbance and, by association, little human interference. This is not always the case though. Take for example Greater Quaking-grass (Briza maxima). This attractive plant, with its large, pendulous spikelets, is present in few Irish sites (1). Yet one of these is smack bang in the centre of a major Irish city. As the river Lee makes its way through the city of Cork, some of its quaysides are lined with old wharf timers, used in former times for unloading produce from merchant ships. Surprisingly, on some of these timbers at Union Quay and Morrison Quay, B. maxima proliferates from April to May. The specimen pictured was just observed in all its quaking glory just steps from Trinity foot bridge.
Greater Quaking-grass, Briza maxima

  1. O'Mahony, 2009. Wildflowers of Cork City and County p. 29

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