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Luzula DC.

Fl.Franç. 3:158 (1805)
Name Status

Scientific Description

Family Juncaceae.

Habit and leaf form. Herbs; evergreen. Perennial; plants with a basal concentration of leaves (usually), or with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves. Young stems cylindrical. Rhizomatous (rhizome usually flat). Helophytic to mesophytic. Heterophyllous (leaf forms include scale-like on the runners and rhizomes, foliar at the base of the culm and bracteous in the inflorescence). Leaves alternate; tristichous; sessile; sheathing. Leaf sheaths with joined margins. Leaves with ‘normal’ orientation; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire; flat (or concave); narrowly ovate, or linear; parallel-veined. Leaves ligulate, or eligulate; without stipules. Leaf blade margins flat, or involute. Leaves with a persistent basal meristem, and basipetal development. Vegetative anatomy. Plants without silica bodies. Leaf anatomy. Guard-cells not ‘grass type’. Hairs present (usually pilose at the margin). Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Floral nectaries absent (nectaries lacking). Anemophilous, or entomophilous.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose (usually monochasial). Inflorescences scapiflorous, or not scapiflorous; terminal; many individually inserted flowers arranged in loose, much-branched panicles or with the flowers congested into dense clusters which are then arranged in a panicle, an anthela, a raceme, or contracted into dense spike-like structures; spatheate (with one or more spathal bracts). Flowers bracteate; bracteolate (bracts 1 or 2, translucent); small; regular; 3 merous; cyclic; tetracyclic, or pentacyclic. Perigone tube absent. Hypogynous disk absent. Perianth of ‘tepals’; 6; 2 -whorled; isomerous; free; sepaloid; similar in the two whorls, or different in the two whorls (tepals unequal or subequal); white, or brown. Androecium 3, or 6. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal; free of one another; 1 -whorled, or 2 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 3, or 6; isomerous with the perianth, or diplostemonous. Filaments filiform (rarely linear and flattened). Anthers oblong, rarely linear; basifixed; non-versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse, or latrorse; unappendaged. Pollen shed in aggregates; in tetrads. Gynoecium 3 carpelled. The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synstylovarious; superior. Ovary unilocular; 1 locular. The ‘odd’ carpel anterior. Gynoecium shortly stylate. Styles 1; attenuate from the ovary; apical. Stigmas 3; dry type; papillate; Group II type. Placentation basal. Ovules in the single cavity 3; ascending; non-arillate; anatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule (trigonous). Capsules loculicidal. Fruit 1 locular (sometimes basally 3-lobed); 3 seeded. Seeds ellipsoid to oblong; endospermic. Endosperm not oily. Seeds arillate, or non-arillate; with starch. Cotyledons 1. Embryo straight (small). Seedling. Hypocotyl internode present, or absent. Mesocotyl absent. Seedling collar not conspicuous. Cotyledon hyperphyll elongated; assimilatory; more or less circular in t.s. Coleoptile absent. Seedling cataphylls absent. First leaf centric, or dorsiventral. Primary root ephemeral.

Physiology, biochemistry. Photosynthetic pathway: C3.

Geography, cytology, number of species. Native of Australia. Not endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania. South-West Botanical Province.

Additional characters Stigmas the stigmatic area linear (twining).

H.R. Coleman, 8 September 2016

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, Judy; Marchant, Neville; Lewington, Margaret; Graham, Lorraine 2002. Flora of the south west, Bunbury, Augusta, Denmark. Volume 1, introduction, keys, ferns to monocotyledons. Australian Biological Resources Study.. Canberra..
  • Harden, Gwen J. 1993. Flora of New South Wales. Volume 4. New South Wales University Press.. Kensington, N.S.W..