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Spiked Woodrush

Luzula spicata

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Juncaceae (Rush)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Bogs, cliffs, gardens, mountains, riverbanks, riversides, rocky places, waterside, wetland, woodland.

Brown, 6 petals
A chestnut brown elongated cluster of flowers.
A purplish-brown capsule which bears the seeds.
Slightly curved, grass-like leaves which are also grooved. Up to 2mm wide. The hairs are white but Spiked Woodrush is frequently hairless. Reddish stems. Perennial.
Other Names:
Spiked Jonquil.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Luzula spicata, commonly known as spiked woodrush or spiked jonquil, is a species of perennial herb in the Juncaceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia, typically found in damp, shady areas such as woods, bogs, and along streams and rivers. It has small, greenish-brown flowers that bloom in the spring and summer, and glossy, dark green leaves. It is a small plant that can grow up to 30 cm tall and is known for its basal leaves that are arranged in a rosette. The plant is also used as an ornamental plant in gardens and it is known for its ability to thrive in damp and shady areas. It is also used in traditional medicine, but there is not enough scientific evidence to support its medicinal properties. The plant is named for its spikes of flowers and leaves, which give it a distinctive appearance.


Spiked Woodrush (Luzula spicata) is a beautiful, tufted grass-like plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a species of the genus Luzula and is widely distributed in a variety of habitats, including damp meadows, damp woods, and marshy areas.

The plant grows to a height of 40-60 cm and has narrow, dark green leaves that are up to 20 cm long. The leaves are evergreen and provide a lush green backdrop throughout the year. In spring and summer, spikes of creamy white flowers appear that are arranged in clusters at the end of each stem. These flowers are highly fragrant and attract many species of pollinators.

Spiked Woodrush is an ideal plant for adding texture and structure to a woodland garden or naturalistic meadow. It is low maintenance and is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions, including wet soils and partial shade. In addition, it is also highly resistant to deer and other herbivores, making it an excellent choice for those looking to create a wildlife-friendly garden.

Cultivation of Spiked Woodrush is relatively easy and can be done from seed or by division of existing clumps. Seeds should be sown in a well-drained soil in the fall or spring, and divisions can be made in early spring. The plant will grow best in a moist, but well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. In addition, it will benefit from a period of cold stratification, which will help to break the seed dormancy.

Spiked Woodrush is a versatile, attractive and low-maintenance plant that is ideal for a wide range of growing conditions. Whether you are looking to add texture and structure to your garden or to create a wildlife-friendly environment, this plant is an excellent choice.

Spiked Woodrush is a slow-growing plant that will form a dense clump over time, making it an excellent choice for ground cover in shady or partially shady areas. It is also a popular choice for planting in gardens with a naturalistic or woodland theme, as it provides a beautiful contrast against other spring-blooming flowers such as primroses, violets, and wildflowers.

In addition to its ornamental value, Spiked Woodrush also has a number of medicinal uses. The leaves and stems of the plant have been used for centuries to treat a range of ailments, including respiratory problems, digestive disorders, and skin conditions.

Spiked Woodrush is also highly valued by gardeners for its ability to attract pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and other insects. The creamy white flowers are a valuable source of nectar for these insects, and they help to provide food and habitat for other wildlife in the garden.

It is important to note that while Spiked Woodrush is a low-maintenance plant, it does require regular watering during the growing season, especially in drier climates. In addition, it is important to keep the plant well-watered during the first growing season to help it establish itself.

Spiked Woodrush is an attractive, versatile, and low-maintenance plant that provides a range of benefits for gardeners and wildlife alike. Whether you are looking to add texture and structure to your garden, attract pollinators, or simply enjoy the beauty of this beautiful plant, Spiked Woodrush is a great choice.

In terms of maintenance, Spiked Woodrush requires very little attention. Once established, it is highly drought-tolerant and can survive in even the driest of soils. It also has the ability to colonize an area, making it an excellent choice for planting in large groups or naturalistic meadows.

However, to ensure that your Spiked Woodrush plants remain healthy and vigorous, it is important to provide them with adequate moisture and a well-drained soil. If you are planting in a dry area, it may be necessary to water the plants more frequently, especially during prolonged periods of drought.

Another advantage of Spiked Woodrush is its versatility. It can be grown in a variety of soils, including clay, loam, and sand, and is adaptable to a range of pH levels, making it suitable for a wide range of growing conditions. In addition, it is highly resistant to pests and diseases, making it an ideal choice for those looking to minimize the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in their gardens.

One final thing to note about Spiked Woodrush is its ability to provide year-round interest in the garden. While the creamy white flowers are the main attraction in spring and summer, the evergreen leaves provide a lush green backdrop throughout the year, and the plant’s fine texture makes it an attractive addition to any garden, even in winter.

In conclusion, Spiked Woodrush is a beautiful and versatile plant that is well-suited to a wide range of growing conditions. Whether you are looking to add texture and structure to your garden, attract pollinators, or simply enjoy the beauty of this beautiful plant, Spiked Woodrush is a great choice. With its low maintenance requirements, its ability to thrive in a variety of soils, and its year-round interest, it is no wonder that this plant has become a popular choice for gardeners and landscapers alike.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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