Luzula echinata (Small) Hermann

hedgehog wood rush

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Hedgehog wood rush enters New England at the northeastern limit of its range, where it is a rare inhabitant of deciduous forests and fields in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The inflorescences look vaguely hedgehog-like, and the leaves are tipped with tiny points.

Habitat

Forests, meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
Stem shape in cross-section
the stem is round or oval in cross-section
Leaf blade width
2–7 mm
Leaf blade cross-section
the leaf blade is flat or rolled in at the edges
Inflorescence position
the inflorescence is at the tip of the plant
Inflorescence branching
the inflorescence is branched
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is a capsule, with at least three seeds in it
Fruit length
1.9–2.3 mm
Leaf position on plant
some leaf attachment points are above the midpoint of the stem
Perianth composition
the perianth is green or brown, with six sepal-like parts, and a leafy texture
Fruit cross-section
the fruit is triangular to terete (circular) in cross-section
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther color (dry)
    the anthers range in color from white to tan or yellow to yellow-brown
    Anther length
    0.7–1.2 mm
    Floral bristle color
    NA
    Floral bristle number
    NA
    Floral bristle relative length
    NA
    Floral bristles
    NA
    Floral scale hairs
    NA
    Floral scale length
    0 mm
    Floral scale nerves
    NA
    Flower number per cluster
    5-20
    Inflorescence bract angle
    the bracts are vertical or angled only slightly outwards
    Inflorescence bract number
    there are two to five bracts per inflorescence
    Inflorescence bract position (Sparganium)
    NA
    Inflorescence bracts
    there are at least two bracts, and they are either flat or folded or rolled in at the edges
    Inflorescence branching
    the inflorescence is branched
    Inflorescence crowding
    the inflorescence is at least somewhat spread out, with at least one branch coming from the main stem
    Inflorescence position
    the inflorescence is at the tip of the plant
    Inflorescence shape
    the aggregations within the inflorescence are roughly circular (not flattened) in cross-section
    Inflorescence type
    there are two or more flowers, spikes or flower clusters on a branched inflorescence
    Perianth composition
    the perianth is green or brown, with six sepal-like parts, and a leafy texture
    Stamen number
    4-6
    Stigma number
    3
    floral bristle barbs
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene beak length
    0 mm
    Achene surface texture
    NA
    Achene tubercle relative width
    NA
    Achene tubercle width
    0 mm
    Capsule relative length
    • the capsule is about equal to the perianth
    • the capsule is shorter than the perianth
    Fruit cross-section
    the fruit is triangular to terete (circular) in cross-section
    Fruit length
    1.9–2.3 mm
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is a capsule, with at least three seeds in it
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
    Locules in capsule
    the capsule has one locule
    Seed length
    1.2–1.6 mm
    Seed tail relative length
    1.2–1.6 mm
    Seed tails
    the seeds have tail-like projections
    Tubercle height
    0 mm
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Auricle length
    0 mm
    Auricle texture
    NA
    Auricles
    there are no auricles on the leaf sheath
    Leaf blade cross-section
    the leaf blade is flat or rolled in at the edges
    Leaf blade length
    40–150 mm
    Leaf blade width
    2–7 mm
    Leaf form
    all the leaves hold their form out of water
    Leaf position on plant
    some leaf attachment points are above the midpoint of the stem
    Leaf septa
    the leaf blades do not have transverse septa
    Leaf sheath hairs
    the leaf sheathes have hairs on them
    Pedicel length (Typha)
    0 mm
    Stem leaf blade ligules
    there are no ligules at the leaf blade bases
    Stem leaf blades
    there are fully-developed leaves with leaf blades on the main stem
    Width of seed-producing inflorescence
    6–9 mm
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • forests
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Plant height
    15–45 cm
    Stem shape in cross-section
    the stem is round or oval in cross-section

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. echinata

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Luzula multiflora:
leaves with a blunt, rounded tip, the calloused apex evident and anthers up to 2 times as long as the associated filaments (vs. L. echinata, with leaves with a minute point at the tip, the calloused apex narrow and obscure and anthers 2-4 times as long as the associated filaments).
Luzula campestris:
leaves with a blunt, rounded tip, the calloused apex evident and seeds 1-1.3 mm long (vs. L. echinata, with leaves with a minute point at the tip, the calloused apex narrow and obscure and seeds 1.2-1.6 mm long).

Synonyms

  • Juncoides echinatum Small
  • Luzula campestris (L.) DC. var. echinata (Small) Fern. & Wieg.

Family

Juncaceae

Genus

Luzula

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

5.  Luzula echinata (Small) Hermann NC

hedgehog wood rush. Juncoides echinatum Small; Luzula campestris (L.) DC. var. 
 echinata (Small) Fern. & Wieg.; L. multiflora (Ehrh.) Lej. var. echinata (Small) Mohlenbrock 
• CT, MA. Deciduous forests, forested slopes, fields.