Luzula DC.

Luzula is a cosmopolitan genus with 108-115 species (Kirschner 2002, Mabberley 2008, Záveská & Vlček 2010). It is most diverse in temperate Eurasia and is represented in Belgium by six native species (Lambinon & Verloove 2012). All (incl. the very rare Luzula forsteri (Smith) DC.) have been reported as adventives outside their native Belgian distribution range, primarily near timber- or bark storages. Luzula luzuloides (Lam.) Dandy et Wilmott (syn.: L. albida (Hoffmann) DC., L. nemorosa (Pollich) E. Mey. non Hornem.) and L. sylvatica (Huds.) Gaudin (syn.: L. maxima (Reichard) DC.) are often cultivated for ornament and sometimes escape (incl. forms with variegated leaves) (see also Jäger & al. 2008).

Luzula is monophyletic but species relationships within the genus are difficult to determine (Záveská & Vlček 2010).

1       Most flowers borne singly (rarely some in pairs) (native) === Luzula pilosa and L. forsteri

         Most flowers in clusters or heads of 3 or more === 2

2       Tepals white to stramineous === 3

         Tepals brown (native) === L. campestris, L. multiflora and L. sylvatica

3       Capsule ca. ½ as long as tepals. Tepals 4,2-5,5 mm long, unequal === Luzula nivea

         Capsule about as long as tepals. Tepals 2,3-3,2 mm long, subequal (native) === L. luzuloides


Chrtek J. & Křísa B. (1980) Luzula. In: Tutin T.G. & al. (eds.), Flora Europaea, vol. 5. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 111-116.

Jäger E.J., Ebel F., Hanelt P. & Müller G. (eds.) (2008) Rothmaler Band 5. Exkursionsflora von Deutschland. Krautige Zier- und Nutzpflanzen. Springer Verlag, Berlin: 880 p.

Jäger E.J. & Werner K. (eds.) (2005) Rothmaler Band 4. Exkursionsflora von Deutschland. Gefässpflanzen: Kritischer Band. Springer Verlag, Berlin: 880 p.

Kirschner J. (2002) Species Plantarum. Flora of the world. Part 6. Juncaceae 1: Rostkovia to Luzula. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra: 1-237 [available online at:]

Lambinon J. & Verloove F. (avec coll. Delvosalle L., Toussaint B., Geerinck D., Hoste I., Van Rossum F., Cornier B., Schumacker R., Vanderpoorten A. & Vannerom H.) (2012) Nouvelle Flore de la Belgique, du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, du Nord de la France et des Régions voisines (Ptéridophytes et Spermatophytes). Sixième édition. Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Meise: CXXXIX + 1195 p.

Mabberley D.J. (2008) Mabberley’s plant-book (3th ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: XVIII + 1021 p.

Stace C. (2010) New flora of the British Isles, 3th ed.: XXXII + 1232 p. Cambridge University Press.

Záveská D. & Vlček C. (2010) Molecular phylogeny of the genus Luzula DC. (Juncaceae, Monocotyledones) based on plastome and nuclear ribosomal regions: a case of incongruence, incomplete lineage sorting and hybridisation. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 57(2): 536-551.

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith