This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
[Luzula DC. Fl. Fr. 3: 158. 1805.]
Perennial plants, with herbage either glabrous or sparingly webbed, stems leaf-bearing, leaf-sheaths with united margins, and leaf-blades grass-like. Inflorescence umbelloid, paniculate, or corymbose, often congested; flowers always bracteolate, the bractlets usually lacerate or denticulate; stamens 6 in our species; ovary 1-celled, its 3 ovules with basal insertion; seeds 3, indistinctly reticulate, sometimes carunculate at base or apex, but not distinctly tailed. [Greek, meaning like Juncus.]
About 65 species, widely distributed, mostly flowering in spring. Type species: J uncus pilosusL.
Inflorescence umbelloid, 1 or 2 flowers on each of its branches.
Inflorescence theoretically paniculate, the flowers often crowded in spikelike clusters.
Outer perianth-parts shorter than the inner; introduced species.
Perianth-parts equal or nearly so; native species.
Flowers 1-3 together, on the branches of an open panicle.
Flowers crowded into one or more thick spikes or spike-like clusters.
Inflorescence erect or spreading, or its individual branches rarely nodding.
Inflorescence of 1-3 spike-like or capitate flower-clusters, or the leaf-blades sharp-pointed.
Inflorescence crowded into a single cluster; leaves flat, usually with a blunt apex.
Inflorescence in 1-4 clusters; leaves narrowed above, involute-channeled, apex
Inflorescence of 2-12 spike-like or capitate clusters; leaf-blades with blunt points.
Tufted, often somewhat stoloniferous. Stems erect, 2-4-leaved, 1/2°-1° high; leaf-blades 1 1/2"-4" wide, flat, slightly webbed, especially when young, acuminate into a blunt almost gland-like point; stem leaves with similar but successively shorter blades; inflorescence an umbelloid flower-cluster, with a bract 5"-12" high, the filiform pedicels equal or nearly so, 1-flowered or sometimes 2-flowered; perianth 1 1/4"- 1 1/2" long, its parts triangular-ovate, acuminate, brown with hyaline margins, about twice as long as the toothed bractlets; capsule about one-fourth exceeding the perianth, its valves ovate, acuminate; seed about 1/4" long, its body about 1" in length, provided at the summit with a conspicuous hooked caruncle.
Newfoundland to Alaska, south to Georgia, Alabama, Michigan and Oregon. Formerly confused with the European J. pilosum (L.) Kuntze.