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Hairy Wood-rush: splitting hairs

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Hairy Wood-rush: splitting hairs

Of all the Dorset species of wood-rush the one most likely to be found in woodland is the hairy wood-rush (Luzula pilosa) although the greater wood-rush does like shade it is not really that common here. Hairy wood-rush likes drier woodlands and shady places where the soil is not acidic. It also crops up in hedgerows sometimes if sahdy.

Hairy wood-rush is a bigger plant than its cousins, the field wood-rush and heath wood-rush, growing to a foot tall and the flowering heads are much larger, more open, and most significantly, spread downwards. All three species have hairy stems and leaves but only the hairy wood-rush is called hairy; common names for many species can be misleading!

Whilst supposedly common I have not found it in many woodlands I have visited; that may be because I tend to visit woodlands early in the spring for the flowers before the leaf canopy opens whereas hairy wood-rush tends to flower later.


 

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This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 9 months ago

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