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Published In: Flore Française. Troisième Édition 3: 161. 1805. (Fl. Franç. (ed. 3)) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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1. Luzula campestris (L.) DC. (wood rush)

Pl. 96 g, h; Map 381

Plants usually with short rhizomes, the aboveground growth loosely or densely caespitose. Aerial stems 1–5 per plant, 10–50 cm long, erect. Basal leaves few to numerous, 5–25 cm long, 2–6 mm wide, linear to linear-lanceolate, flat, the tips pointed, thickened, the margins with few to numerous clumps of long, loosely spreading hairs. Leaves of aerial stems 1–3 per stem, similar to the basal leaves, but with short, closed sheaths at the base, 3–10 cm long, grading into the bracts of the inflorescence. Inflorescences racemes or rarely panicles of dense, headlike or spikelike clusters of flowers, the clusters nearly sessile or with stalks of varying lengths, the stalks ascending or spreading to deflexed. Flowers each subtended by 2 small, triangular bracts 1–2 mm long, these unevenly toothed along the margins. Sepals and petals 2–4 mm long, lanceolate, erect or with the tips somewhat spreading, straw-colored to dark brown or purplish brown. Stamens 6. Fruits 1.8–2.3 mm long, shorter than the perianth, obovoid to ellipsoid, the tip broadly rounded, straw-colored to dark brown. Seeds 3 per fruit, 1.0–2.5 mm long, ellipsoid to ovoid, dark brown, with a lighter-colored, straight or curved, caplike caruncle. April–June.

Scattered in the Ozark and Ozark Border Divisions, and locally in counties just north of the Missouri River (U.S., Canada, Greenland, Europe, Asia). Dry upland forests, most commonly on chert, sandstone, or granite; also in mesic upland forests in ravines, less commonly on sandstone or igneous glades or dry, rocky, upland prairies.

Steyermark (1963) recognized only a single taxon, the diploid L. bulbosa, as occurring in Missouri. However, Gleason and Cronquist (1991) cited the widespread tetraploid, L. multiflora, as growing in the state. Coffey (1966) included another diploid, L. echinata, for Missouri; an examination of herbarium collections has confirmed this report.

Luzula campestris consists of a taxonomically difficult aggregate of several widespread diploid and polyploid taxa. These have been studied extensively cytogenetically and through experimental hybridizations (Nordenskiöld, 1951, 1956) and are often considered separate species. Morphologically, however, although relatively discrete characters exist to differentiate the diploids, the widespread polyploids variously combine these characters in different populations, making determinations difficult in some cases. Further research is needed to assess the distinctions among the segregates, and until such studies shed further light on the matter, it seems most prudent to follow Clemants (1990) and other authors who maintain these taxa as varieties.


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1 1. Plants producing few to many, small, white bulblike offsets along the rhizome (these easily detached)...1A. VAR. BULBOSA

Luzula campestris var. bulbosa
2 1. Plants not producing bulblike offsets along the rhizome, although the bases of the aerial stems may be somewhat thickened

3 2. Stalks of some of the flower clusters (especially the shorter ones) widely spreading or somewhat reflexed; flower clusters triangular in outline to nearly spherical...1B. VAR. ECHINATA

Luzula campestris var. echinata
4 2. Stalks of the flower clusters mostly erect or somewhat ascending, less commonly the lower ones spreading, but not reflexed; flower clusters ovoid to cylindrical, sometimes some of them hemispherical...1C. VAR. MULTIFLORA Luzula campestris var. multiflora


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