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Luzula campestris

Australian glow worm grass

A grass-like perennial to 15cm high, with broad-bladed dark green leaves, edged with fine silky hairs. Produces distinctive dark brown flower and seed heads in spring. Spreads rapidly and is often found in lawns where turf grasses are weakened by poor drainage or acidic conditions

Other common names
black head grass
chimney sweeps
see morecuckoo grass
field wood-rush
Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Brown Green
Summer Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full shade
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or North–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Juncaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Tufted
Genus

Luzula are evergreen perennials, sometimes stoloniferous, with flat, linear leaves and tiny brown flowers in dense or lax clusters in spring or summer

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Cosmopolitan

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How to grow

Cultivation

Prefers moist conditions, and often dies back by midsummer. Rapid growth and spread mean that this plant is generally considered a weed. Improving soil conditions can help fine turf grasses to compete, see coarse grasses in lawns for more advice

Propagation

Propagates by seed and by creeping stolons (runners) on the surface of the soil; hand weeding can remove runners

Suggested planting locations and garden types
Pruning

In lawns, regular mowing can prevent the development of flowers and seed heads; clippings should be removed to prevent spread. Rake before mowing to raise runners from the soil surface

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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