Luzula confusa Lindeberg

Northern Wood Rush

Habitat: Alpine meadows and slopes. [Alpine or subalpine (non-forested, upland)]

Range: Circumboreal, south to the higher mountains of Maine and New Hampshire.

Aids to Identification: Rushes are recognized by their grass-like morphology, small flowers with 6 inconspicuous sepal and petals (called tepals) and 3-valved capsules. The genus Luzula is identified by its 3-seeded capsules and pubescent foliage Luzula confusa is one of 3 wood-rushes that occurs above the tree-line. The combination of narrow, inrolled leaves and flowers borne in dense, upright clusters will distinguish this wood-rush from its alpine relatives (L. spicata and L. pauciflora).

Ecological characteristics: Known in Maine to occur above treeline on Mt. Katahdin.

Phenology: Flowers July - August.

Family: Juncaceae

Synonyms: Juncoides hyperboreum (R. Br.) Sheldon, in part; Luzula hyperborea R. Br., in part.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): Piscataquis.

Reason(s) for rarity: Arctic species disjunct from principal range.

Conservation considerations: Populations could be threatened by heavy recreational (hiking) use.