"Small-flowered woodrush "

(Luzula parviflora)



Luzula parviflora is a species of flowering plant in the rush family known by the common name small-flowered woodrush. It has a northern circumboreal distribution. It is a perennial herb forming grasslike clumps of several erect stems up to half a meter in maximum height surrounded by many grasslike leaves. The inflorescence is an open array of many clusters of brown flowers on long branches. It has a circumboreal distribution, native throughout the Northern Hemisphere in northern Scandinavia, Asia and North America. It grows in moist areas, often on gravelly soils. It occurs at low elevations in colder regions, such as tundra; farther south it is restricted mainly to high mountains. It can grow in highly disturbed habitat, as evidenced by its ability to survive volcanic eruption and to thrive in the destroyed ecosystem on the most barren slopes of Mount St. Helens. 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. Plants of the genus are known commonly as wood-rush, wood rush, or woodrush. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
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