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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



Jan Kirschner

Perennial herb, cespitose or rhizomatous, rhizome ascending or vertical. Stem: cylindric. Leaf: generally basal, cauline few; blades linear, flat or channeled, margins and sheath opening, sparsely to densely long-soft-hairy. Inflorescence: panicles of 1–few flowers per branch, or head-like and cylindric to ovoid in dense to loose clusters; lower bract leaf-like or herbaceous at base, membranous distally, bractlets 1–3, margins generally ciliate. Flower: perianth parts 6, pale brown to ± black-brown; stamens 6; pistil 1, chamber 1, placenta basal. Fruit: capsule, opening with 3 valves. Seed: 3, elliptic to ovoid, ridged on 1 side, occasionally attached to placenta by tuft of hairs, generally with ± white appendage at tip.
± 115 species: worldwide. (Latin: light; Italian: glow worm) Measure unridged side of seeds; seed length measurement not including appendage.

Key to Luzula

1. Flowers 1(2–3) on inflorescence branches

2. Inflorescence branches generally at ± right angles; perianth part tip ± reflexed ..... L. divaricata

2' Inflorescence branches nodding to spreading but not at ± right angles; perianth parts appressed to erect, not reflexed

3. Plant < 30 cm; cauline leaves 2–3, basal leaves 3–4 mm wide; perianth parts generally dark brown ..... L. piperi

3' Plant 30–70 cm; cauline leaves (3)4–5, basal leaves 5–8 mm wide; perianth parts generally straw-brown ..... L. parviflora

4. Inflorescence few-flowered, branches long; perianth parts generally pale- to straw-brown ..... subsp. fastigiata

4' Inflorescence many-flowered, main branches long, distal 2° branches short; perianth parts medium brown ..... subsp. parviflora

1' Flowers in dense, ovoid to cylindric clusters, or entire inflorescence congested

5. Cauline leaf tips microscopically generally not thickened or rounded

6. Inflorescence dense, generally interrupted at base, nodding; basal leaves 1.5–3 mm wide, channeled ..... L. spicata

6' Inflorescence of 4–20 clusters on peduncles of variable length, not nodding, some peduncles occasionally arching or ± flexuous; basal leaves 3–6 mm wide, flat ..... L. subcongesta

5' Cauline leaf tips microscopically generally thickened and rounded

7. Inflorescence dense, ± black-brown; seeds 0.5–0.6 mm wide ..... L. orestera

7' Inflorescence of peduncled or ± sessile clusters, if dense then pale brown to straw-brown, otherwise not darker than brown; seeds > 0.7 mm wide

8. Seeds ovoid-subspheric, 0.9–1.1 mm wide; style 0.6–1.2 mm ..... L. subsessilis

8' Seeds ovoid or narrowly ovoid; 0.7–0.9 mm wide, style 0.4–0.7 mm ..... L. comosa

9. Inflorescence generally dense; style 0.4–0.5 mm; anthers 0.6–1 mm; seeds 1–1.2 mm, 0.8–0.9 mm wide ..... var. comosa

9' Inflorescence generally of peduncled clusters; style 0.5–0.7 mm; anthers 0.8–1.2(1.5) mm; seeds 1.1–1.3 mm, 0.7–0.8 mm wide ..... var. laxa


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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