categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

HAIRY WOOD-RUSH

Luzula pilosa

Rushes Family [Juncaceae]

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

2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Park, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Only a foot tall, 30cm. There are two plants in this photograph, with crossing stalks.


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Park, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Lacks runners. Flowers on a single forking cluster, with very unequal length stalks.


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Park, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Most flowers are alone at the top of a stalk, only very occasionally are they in pairs.


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Park, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Although your Author can find nothing to confirm this, it seems that the 'hairy' moniker of Hairy Wood-rush is derived from the hairiness of the three hairy white stigmas atop the single style. It is strange why no one mentions this!


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Park, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
There are 3 outer sepals and three petals to each flower. Six short stamens have a long pale double-barrelled creamy-green anther atop, replete with pollen.


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Park, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
An un-opened flower


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Park, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
New plants emerging.


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Park, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Three or four long leaves tapering leaves peel off a single main stem.


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Park, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Main stem is quite robust.


Easily mistaken for : Southern Wood-rush (Luzula forsteri) unless you are north of Birmingham or in Ireland where that is extremely seldom found, or not at all. But the appendix on the seeds of Southern Wood-rush are often curved or hooked (whereas they are not in Hairy Wood-rush), and the appendix is often longer than half the length of the seed [and often longer than the seed too] (whereas in Hairy Wood-rush they are usually shorter than half the length of the seed). There are other subtle differences too, many only apparent after the averaging of a few specimens! There seems to be very few places where Southern Wood-rush grows but Hairy Wood-rush definitely doesn't, so identifying Southern Wood-rush where that grows will need careful examination rather than a glance at your location on the map.

Many species of Wood-rush are distinguished mainly by the shape and size and details of their fruits. They are in the same Juncaceae family as the Rushes (Juncus)

Hairy Wood-rush grows mainly in woods and other shaded places, and is almost ubiquitous throughout the UK but tending to avoid Lincolnshire parts of Norfolk and the east of England around The Wash and The Tyne, and much of central Eire, but is greatly decreasing in extent decade by decade.


  Luzula pilosa  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Juncaceae  

Distribution
 family8Rushes family8Juncaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Luzula
Luzula
(Wood-Rushes)

HAIRY WOOD-RUSH

Luzula pilosa

Rushes Family [Juncaceae]