From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Luzula sylvatica, great wood-rush
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Juncaceae
Genus: Luzula
DC., conserved name
  • Luciola Sm., superfluous name
  • Juncoides Ség., rejected name
  • Gymnodes (Griseb.) Fourr.
  • Nemorinia Fourr.
  • Cyperella J.G.H.Kramer ex MacMill.
  • Pterodes (Griseb.) Börner
  • Ebingeria Chrtek & Krísa

Luzula is a genus of flowering plants in the rush family Juncaceae. The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution, with species occurring throughout the world, especially in temperate regions, the Arctic, and higher elevation areas in the tropics.[2] Plants of the genus are known commonly as wood-rush,[3] wood rush, or woodrush.[4] Possible origins of the genus name include the Italian lucciola ("to shine, sparkle") or the Latin luzulae or luxulae, from lux ("light"), inspired by the way the plants sparkle when wet with dew.[2] Another etymology sometimes given is that it does derive from lucciola but that this meant a mid-summer field, or from the Latin luculus, meaning a small place; the same source also states that this name was applied by Luigi Anguillara (an Italian botanist) in 1561.[5]

These rushes are usually perennial plants with rhizomes and sometimes stolons. They generally form clumps of cylindrical stems and narrow leaves with hair-lined edges. The inflorescence is often a dense cluster of flowers with two leaf-like bracts at the base, or sometimes a solitary flower or a few flowers borne together. They have six brownish tepals.[2][6]

Luzula species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the smoky wainscot. Several moths of the genus Coleophora have been observed on the plants. Coleophora biforis and C. otidipennella feed exclusively on Luzula. C. antennariella is limited to Luzula pilosa, and C. sylvaticella feeds only on L. sylvatica.

Some species, notably Luzula sylvatica and its cultivars, are used as ornamental garden plants.


There are around 140 species in the genus:[7]


  1. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ a b c Janice Coffey Swab, "Luzula de Candolle in J. Lamarck and A. P. de Candolle, Fl. France, ed. 3. 1: 198; 3: 158. 1805", Flora of North America, vol. 22
  3. ^ Luzula. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
  4. ^ Luzula. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
  5. ^ "Scientific names - meaning and origin". The Flora of Svalbard. Svalbard: Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  6. ^ Luzula. The Jepson eFlora 2013.
  7. ^ "Luzla". The Plant List. Retrieved November 30, 2013.

External links[edit]