Luzula Sylvatica: Great Wood Rush Information and Care

Great Wood Rush is a versatile grass that can be used as groundcover. Why should you consider it and how to grow it?

Great wood rush is a simple and versatile grass-like plant ideal for growing as a groundcover in any shaded location.

Let us explore this ornamental grass, its care requirements, and its uses.

General Information

Great wood rush (Luzula sylvatica) is a native of eastern Asia and Europe, including England. Its native habitat comprises shady, acidic lowland woods near rivers. Great wood rush is an evergreen perennial that grows in clumps. It has beautiful, green-yellow leaves that turn a richer shade of green in the winter and spring.

It is the largest wood rush, with stems averaging 12-31 inches tall. It grows in clusters of 3.9 to 11.8 inches long and 0.39 inches wide with glossy, flat, linear, bright green leaves. 

wet grass with some dried grass

Great wood rush is mainly used as an attractive ground cover in shaded areas, including under trees. It forms a low mound of leathery, dark-green leaves that spread to form a dense, weed-free zone. It also blends well with ferns and other perennials in a natural forest setting. 

In the spring, small clusters of tiny, inconspicuous brown flowers emerge. Although this plant grows quickly, it is not invasive.

luzula sylvatica flowers in the field

Care and Maintenance

L. sylvatica is simple to grow and resistant to disease and pests. It is a self-seeding, low-maintenance plant that can be used in various situations if cared for adequately.


Great wood rush dislikes the combination of intense sunlight and poor, dry soil. Wood rush requires moist, humus-rich, moderately fertile soil. When growing this grass in the garden’s sunny locations, it is essential to maintain a constant moisture level.


New plants require regular watering for the first several weeks following planting. Watering may be reduced every two or three days, depending on the weather and soil type. 

abundant bushes of summer grass


This wood rush propagates well and can be removed if it spreads too far. To keep the plant’s energy focused on rapid growth, cut off old flower stalks. Foliage may be loosely pruned during the growing season to remove damaged or discolored leaves or maintain plant size.


Propagation can be accomplished through division or seed. Sow seeds in outdoor containers in the spring or fall. Once established, clumps should be divided in the spring

Landscape Uses

Great wood rush is a drought-resistant perennial ground cover that requires minimal care. It grows well in various garden themes, including modern, Asian, woodland, and extensive flowerbeds. 

This plant adds architectural interest to a patio container or garden. It has traditionally been used as an ornamental. It can also be planted in forested and shaded garden areas where other plants may not thrive.

Luzula sylvatica is commonly used in horticulture. Its capacity to form dense patches makes it an effective weed suppressor. 

assorted grass growing in the wilderness

Companion Plants

Great wood rush is a perfect companion for woodland favorites that require similar amounts of light and water. This low-maintenance plant works well with other grasses and shrubs. 


The epimedium is one of the woods’ most beautiful and appealing perennials. Its spring flowers and attractive but subtle foliage help improve any shaded landscape.

The early spring bloom of epimedium is beautiful. Bright, spider-like flowers adorn the thin, delicate stalks above the foliage.

The star-like flowers provide interest, while the heart-shaped leaves add texture and various seasonal colors.


Bergenia grows in the gloomy or shaded area of the garden that many flowers avoid. It gets its common name, pigsqueak, from the sound it makes when two leaves brush together.

These plants require little care. They are hardy without becoming invasive and will gradually spread across your fully or partially shaded garden to form a ground cover.

The leaf is generally evergreen in warmer climates and becomes a deep golden color in the fall and winter. Bergenia flowers bloom in April. 

pink bergenia flowers blooming during summer


Ferns are lovely planting partners for woodland environments. They are more resilient than most gardeners realize.

Ferns are incredibly adaptable and beautiful when used in a shaded backyard garden. However, bracken ferns, the most common type, are toxic to livestock and humans.

Because so many ferns can withstand both winter cold and summer heat, they are most useful in shaded garden areas, where very few plants can survive.

Jeffrey Douglas
Jeffrey Douglas own a landscaping company and has been in the business for over 20 years. He loves all things related to lawns or gardens and believes that proper maintenance is the key to preventing problems in the first place.
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