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a genus of primarily perennial herbaceous plants of the family Juncaceae. The leaves, which have closed sheaths and flat or canaliculate blades, are usually covered on the margins with white hairs. The bisexual, inconspicuous flowers are solitary or in clusters, which form a spicate, umbellate, or capitate inflorescence. The perianth has six brown or greenish scalelike segments which remain during fruiting. The fruit is a one-celled capsule containing three seeds. The seeds are distributed by ants, which eat the caruncles.
There are approximately 80 species of Luzula, found in the cold and temperate zones, primarily in the northern hemisphere. They are also encountered in tropical highlands. Approximately 30 species are found in the USSR, mainly in the tundra and forest zones and in alpine regions. Particularly widespread are the hairy wood rush (L. pilosa), which grows in shady forests and thickets, and the many-headed wood rush (L. multiflora), which is found in meadows and forest edges. Both species are eaten by livestock and, in the tundra, by reindeer. The snowy wood rush (L. nivea), the hairy wood rush, and the greater wood rush (L. silvatica) are sometimes cultivated as ornamentals.