E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Luzula spicata (L.) DC.
spiked wood-rush (spiked woodrush)
Juncaceae (Rush family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5796)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Luzula spicata
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Species Information

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Perennial, densely tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems 10-35 cm tall.
Narrow, channeled, sparsely fringed with fine hairs, about 5-15 cm long, 1-2.5 mm wide, with sharp tips; sheaths brown to purplish.
Inflorescence solitary, dense, spike-like, drooping, with 5 to 10 clusters, each cluster with 3 to 6 flowers; perianth segments brown with paler tips, 2-3 mm long, lanceolate, tapering into long awns, the inner about the same length as the outer; stamens 6; anthers 0.4-0.6 mm long, about the same length as the filaments; bracts bristlelike, reduced.
Capsules, ellipsoid, pointed, shorter than the perianth segments; seeds egg-shaped, 0.9-1.1 mm long, with minute appendages.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry rocky slopes in the subalpine and alpine zones; frequent throughout BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, disjunct E to MB, PQ and NF and S to ME, NH, VT, NY, NM, AZ and CA; Eurasia, Greenland.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Luzula spicata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 7 2032 3000
Slope Gradient (%) 0 25 140
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 197 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(169), BAFA(220), CDF(1), CMA(6), CWH(7), ESSF(174), ICH(1), IMA(96), MS(2), SWB(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is alpine tundra & boreal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Juncoides spicatum (L.) Kuntze
Luzula spicata subsp. saximontana A. Löve & D. Löve, nom. inq.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References