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

Luzula parviflora (Ehrh.) Desv.
small-flowered wood-rush (smallflowered woodrush)
Juncaceae (Rush family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Reg Newman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #43779)

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Distribution of Luzula parviflora
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Luzula parviflora ssp. fastigiata

Species Information

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Perennial, loosely tufted herb from elongated rhizomes; stems 20-50 cm tall, green or slightly reddish at the base.
Flat, sparsely fringed with fine hairs at the base of the blades, shorter than the stems, about 5-15 cm long, 3-10 mm wide, the stem leaves (3) 4 or more, broadly linear to lanceolate, pointed, bluish or greyish-green, dull, thick to thin; basal sheaths green or slightly reddish.
Inflorescence loose, open, nodding, with flowers borne singly or in 2-flowered clusters, the stalks arched; perianth segments brown with distinct midribs, translucent, 1.8-2.3 mm long, lanceolate, pointed, the inner about the same length as the outer; stamens 6; anthers 0.4-0.6 mm long, about as long as or shorter than the filaments; bractlets entire to deeply cut, but never strongly fringed; bracts entire to slightly fringed.
Capsules, ellipsoid, usually blackish-brown, pointed, slightly longer than the perianth segments; seeds cylindrical, about 1.2 mm long, lacking appendages.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Dry to moist meadows, shrubby slopes and streambanks in the montane and subalpine zones; frequent in mountains throughout BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to NY, MI, WY and CA; Eurasia, Greenland.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Luzula parviflora

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) 0 1380 2575
Slope Gradient (%) 0 25 420
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 201 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 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(35), BAFA(81), BWBS(16), CDF(8), CMA(5), CWH(665), ESSF(1508), ICH(45), IDF(9), IMA(33), MH(61), MS(65), PP(1), SBPS(7), SBS(19), SWB(61)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, sub montane to subalpine, circumpolar graminoid (transcontinental in North America). Occurs on fresh to very moist, nitrogen-medium soils within boreal, wet temperate, and cool mesothermal climates. Sporadic on water-shedding and water-receiving sites. Often associated with Blechnum spicant, Dryopteris expansa, Gymnocarpium dryopteris, and Polystichum munitum. Characteristic of friable Mor and acidic Moder humus forms.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Juncoides parviflorum (Ehrh.) Coville
Juncus melanocarpus Michx.
Juncus parviflorus Ehrh.
Luzula melanocarpa (Michx.) Desv.
Luzula parviflora subsp. divaricata (S. Watson) Hultén
Luzula parviflora subsp. fastigiata (E. Mey.) Hämet-Ahti
Luzula parviflora subsp. melanocarpa (Michx.) Tolm.
Luzula parviflora subsp. parviflora
Luzula parviflora var. divaricata (S. Watson) B. Boivin
Luzula parviflora var. melanocarpa (Michx.) Buch.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References