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Heath Wood-rush: spot the difference

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Heath Wood-rush: spot the difference

The heath wood-rush (Luzula multiflora) is very similar in appearance to its close relative the field wood-rush. They have similar hairy, pointed, bright green leaves and produce small, golden brown clustered flowers. So how do you tell them apart?

Well, firstly, for once the common English name is a guide. Field wood-rush is a plant of short turf in grassy or woodland places. It does also occur on heaths but is far less tolerant of acid soils and so is less common here than the heath wood-rush which undoubtedely has a preference for acidic heath. So if you see a wood-rush on acidic heath it is likely to be the heath variety, but not necessarily! The two are unlikely to appear together.

The other difference is that heath wood-rush is a taller plant with a straight, stiffer stem. Heath wood-rush can be anything from eight to twelve inches tall whilst its smaller relative rarely grows above six inches and even that is quite tall for field wood-rush!

So, there you have it. If you see these species you should now be able to spot the difference!


 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 7 months ago

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