Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Luzula spicata (L.) DC.
- Family: Rush (Juncaceae)
- Flowering: June-August
- Field Marks: Luzula differs from Juncus in having hairs at least at the base of the leaves. This species differs from others in the genus by its alpine habitat, its flowers borne in heads, and its narrow leaves up to 1/6 inch wide.
- Habitat: Along streams, wet meadows, often above timberline.
- Habit: Tufted perennial with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, up to 15 inches tall.
- Leaves: Mostly near the base of the plant, elongated, narrow, flat, up to 6 inches long, with long hairs at the base.
- Flowers: Crowded into a spike, the spikes sometimes interrupted, up to 1 1/2 inches long, sometimes nodding, subtended by fringed bracts.
- Sepals: 3, free from each other, up to 1/8 inch long, brown with pale margins, with
slender pointed tips.
- Petals: 3, free from each other, up to 1/8 inch long, brown with pale margins, with slender pointed tips.
- Stamens: 6.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Fruits: Capsules oblongoid, a little shorter than the sepals and petals, brown.
- Notes: The seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals.
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