Quaking Grass

(Briza media) A common grass with dozens of local names, all of the "quaking" or "trembling" type, such as Shaky Grass, Wiggle-waggle Grass, Dothering Dillies, and Shickle-Shacklers, to name only a few. Wiltshire children used to be told that if the spikelets ever stop trembling they would change into silver sixpences or shillings. In France, it was reckoned to be a St John's Herb, picked on St John's Eve and purified in the smoke of the Midsummer Fires (Grigson. 1959). For what purpose, though? But there are some traditions of ill luck connected with it - it is unlucky to the man who picks or wears it, for example, and it is also bad luck to bring it into the house. If it is laid in a baby's cradle, the child will be rickety (Tynan & Maitland). But it has its mundane uses. In Yorkshire, for example, it used to be tied in bundles, and hung on the mantelpiece, to ward off mice (Drury. 1992).

Quercus ilex > HOLM OAK

Quercus robur > OAK

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