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FIELD WOOD-RUSH

Luzula campestris

Rushes Family [Juncaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may

category
category8Grasses
 
status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8brown
 
inner
inner8cream
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ6
(3+3)
stem
stem8round
 

4th May 2016, Bridgewater Canal, sale, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD


4th May 2016, Bridgewater Canal, sale, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD


20th April 2012, Birks Bridge, banks of River Duddon, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Short, less than 30cm tall, this specimen barely 7cm, and with runners. Said to avoid acid soils, but this was growing on the banks of the R. Duddon beyond Seathwaite.


20th April 2012, Birks Bridge, banks of River Duddon, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Heads light-brown with conspicuous bright-yellow anthers, which are much longer than their stalks. Each flower has six anthers and six brown tepals. Ovary green at first.


20th April 2012, Birks Bridge, banks of River Duddon, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Stigmas are longer than stamens and have three twisted fuzzy 'threads' projecting out.


20th April 2012, Birks Bridge, banks of River Duddon, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Many flowers not fully opened. Three twisting pale-green stigmas (centre left)


20th April 2012, Birks Bridge, banks of River Duddon, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Leaves have a stringy pith and hairs.


22nd May 2015, Alt Rifle Range, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The brown fruits (visibly protruding lower left).


4th May 2016, Bridgewater Canal, sale, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD


4th May 2016, Bridgewater Canal, sale, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD


4th May 2016, Bridgewater Canal, sale, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD


4th May 2016, Bridgewater Canal, sale, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Green ovary in centre biding its time to ripen to brown.


4th May 2016, Bridgewater Canal, sale, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD


4th May 2016, Bridgewater Canal, sale, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Styles and anthers doing the twist, like they did last Summer.


Some similarities to :

  • Congested Wood-rush (Luzula congesta) but that has the flowers much closer together and is taller and without runners.
  • Spiked Wood-rush (Luzula spicata) but that has flowers in an elongated spike inhabiting rocky and stony places on mountains in Scotland only.
  • Heath Wood-rush (Luzula multiflora) which has three sub-species and is not un-like Congested Wood-rush (Luzula congesta).
  • Great Wood-Rush (Luzula sylvatica) but that is much taller at up to 80 cm.
  • Hairy Wood-Rush (Luzula pilosa) but that has a forking cluster of very long stalks with a flower at each termination.
  • Southern Wood-rush (Luzula forsteri) but that is only in the southern quarter of the UK.
  • White Wood-rush (Luzula luzuloides) but that has off-white flowers.
  • Snow-white Wood-Rush (Luzula nivea) but that has pure white flowers.
  • Fen Wood-rush (Luzula pallescense) but that is very rare found in only one or two hectads in the Fens area of Huntungdon and has only four (rather than six) tepals under each flower.
All of which, like Field Wood-rush are tufted and have leaves with long white hairs.


Differs from the otherwise similar Heath Wood-rush (Luzula multiflora) in these ways:

  • HEIGHT: Field - rarely exceeds 15cm. Heath - taller 20 to 40cm.
  • PANICLE: Field - one stalkless, 3 to 6 branches stalked. Heath - almost umbel-like, up to 10 branches.
  • HEADS: Field - globose to ovoidal, on slender branches curved in flower. Heath - ovoidal to oblong, on slender branches.
  • FLORETS PER HEAD: Field - 3 to 12. Heath - 8 to 16.
  • PERIANTH (TEPALS): Field - 3 to 4mm long, finely pointed, longer than the fruit capsule. Heath - 2.5 to 3.0mm long, paler-brown, broader based, equal in height to fruit capsule.
  • FRUIT CAPSULE: Field - 2.5 to 3mm long, obovoid, rounded top but with a point. Heath - nearly sperical, paler brown, but a similar point at top.
  • ANTHERS: Field - bright yellow, conspicuous when flowering, 2 to 6 times longer than their stalks. Heath - about as long as their stalks.
  • SEEDS: Field - globose. Heath - oblong.

No relation to : Flowering-Rush nor to Woodruff [plants with similar names].

According to one source, it avoids acidic soils, but that seems to be exactly where it is growing. There is always the possibility that the above specimen is that of Heath Wood-rush (Luzula multiflora), but that flowers from May to June; the above photos were taken on 20th April.


  Luzula campestris  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Juncaceae  

Distribution
 family8Rushes family8Juncaceae

 BSBI maps
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Luzula
(Wood-Rushes)

FIELD WOOD-RUSH

Luzula campestris

Rushes Family [Juncaceae]