Jepson eFlora: Key page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Key to Luzula

View taxon page for Luzula

(For a list of species in Luzula, use the above link.)

Jepson Manual glossary definitions can be seen by moving your cursor over words underlined with dots.

1. Flowers mostly 1, occasionally a few in small clusters of 2–4, at branch tips

2. Perianth tips , often strongly curved;  mouth glabrous; mature inflorescences stiffly branched, ± spheric ..... L. divaricata

2' Perianth tips  to acuminate,  to  or only slightly curved; sheath mouth often hairy; mature inflorescences arching to nodding, or if stiffly branched ± ovoid to ±  in outline

3. Leaves bright green to mid-green, shiny, turning red-brown to orange in autumn; perianth parts and  generally pale to brown; bractlets generally not  ..... L. parviflora

3' Leaves blue- to gray-green, dull, turning purple in autumn; perianth parts and capsules generally blackish to dark brown; bractlets ciliate ..... L. piperi

1' Flowers congested or in dense clusters at branch tips, or  inflorescence congested

4. Stem  tips acute to acuminate (at 10× magnification), generally not thickened and rounded; inflorescences dark, dense and nodding, or a 

5. Inflorescences dense, head-like to , often interrupted at base, mostly unbranched, rarely with 1–3 small lateral heads  or on  < 5 mm, terminal  nodding at maturity;  leaves 0.5–3 mm wide, channeled, at least distally ..... L. spicata subsp. spicata

5' Inflorescences open, branched , flowers and fruits clustered at branch tips, the primary branches well-developed, arching to nodding or erect, secondary branches short, sometimes obscured; basal leaves 3–9 mm wide, flat ..... L. subcongesta

4' Stem leaf tips thickened and generally blunt or rounded (at 10× magnification); inflorescences pale or dark, dense and erect, or an  of spikes

6. Stem bases with fragile, elongate ± horizontal rhizomes; damp to wet sites ..... L. cascadensis

6' Stem bases bulb-like or not, rhizomes 0 or short, sturdy, ± vertical; dry, damp, or wet sites

7. Inflorescence an umbel of spikes; stem bases bulb-like

8. Perianth parts pale- to mid-brown, 2.1–3.5(4) mm; anthers 0.5–1.2(1.5) mm ..... L. comosa var. laxa

8' Perianth parts dark brown to blackish, at least in center near midvein, (3.5)4–6.1 mm; anthers 1.1–2.4(3) mm ..... L. macrantha

7' Inflorescence dense, head-like to ovoid or oblong, sometimes lobed; stem bases bulb-like or not

9. Seeds 0.45–0.65 mm wide; seed appendage 0.1–0.25 mm; inflorescence 0.4–1.2(2) cm, length < 2× width; inflorescence bract(s) often prominent and > inflorescence; subalpine to alpine, > 2400 m elev ..... L. orestera

9' Seeds 0.65–1.2 mm wide; seed appendage 0.15–0.6 mm; inflorescence 1.3–7 cm, sometimes length > 2× width; inflorescence bracts prominent or inconspicuous; < 1350 m elev

10. Perianth parts pale- to mid-brown; stigmas 0.8–1.5 mm ..... L. comosa var. comosa

10' Perianth parts dark brown to blackish; stigmas 1.4–3.5 mm ..... L. subsessilis


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) . Jepson eFlora, [accessed on ]

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

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