German turf rush

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German turf rush
Inflorescences of the German turf rush in a raised bog in northwestern Germany

Inflorescences of the German turf rush in a raised bog in northwestern Germany

Order : Sweet grass (Poales)
Family : Sourgrass family (Cyperaceae)
Genre : Rushes ( Trichophorum )
Type : Turf rush ( Trichophorum cespitosum )
Subspecies : German turf rush
Scientific name
Trichophorum cespitosum subsp. germanicum
( Palla ) Hegi

The German turf rush ( Trichophorum cespitosum subsp. Germanicum ) is a subspecies from the genus of the turf rush ( Trichophorum cespitosum ) within the sour grass family (Cyperaceae). It is a characteristic plant of nutrient-poor moors , of wet and bog heaths and of bog forests . The mostly hedgehog-shaped shape of their clumps is characteristic .


Leaf sheath with remnants of leaves
Detail of the inflorescence and cover sheet

Vegetative characteristics

The German turf rush is a perennial , herbaceous plant that reaches heights of 5 to 60 centimeters. This hemicryptophyte forms small to medium-sized, dense, rigid clumps , which in turn can form dense lawns ; no runners are formed. The stem base is rounded to triangular-rounded. The basal leaf sheaths are leather-brown and shiny. The stems grow rigidly upright or diagonally upwards, sometimes bent over at the time of fruiting. The stems are round, smooth and green to dark green in cross section.

The leaf sheaths of the lower leaves are usually without a leaf blade . The uppermost leaf sheath is cut off at an angle and is more than 2 millimeters deep in relation to the base of the leaf blade. The 1 millimeter wide top leaf blade is about twice as long as the cutout is deep (see picture on the left). The ligules are very short.

Generative characteristics

The flowering period extends from May to July, rarely later. The one or two bracts are similar to the husks and about as long as the inflorescence . The inflorescence consists of a single, terminal, erect spikelet . The spikelets are obovate or oblong to club-shaped with a length of 5 to 10 millimeters and contain three to twenty flowers. The flowers contain three stamens and three stigmas .

The main axis of the spikelets, the spikelet spindle, is about 3 millimeters long after the fruits have fallen off. The husks are elongated, lanceolate, pointed, 3 to 4 millimeters long, yellow to red-brown, with a green keel and skin edge. The five to six flower envelope bristles ( perigone ) are usually significantly longer than the fruit.

The caryopsis, which is gray to yellow-brown at maturity, is 1.5 to 2 millimeters in length, flattened, triangular and narrows towards the upper end.

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 104.

Possible confusion

Fruit cluster

Turf rushes ( Trichophorum ) are generally similar to the marsh rushes ( Eleocharis ) in their outer shape . In contrast to these, however, they have a distinct, albeit short leaf blade on the uppermost leaf sheath.

The common turf rush ( Trichophorum cespitosum subsp. Cespitosum ) is very similar . Your uppermost leaf sheath is only about 1 millimeter deep in relation to the base of the leaf blade. The top leaf blade is about five times as long as the cutout is deep. The terminal spikelet is 5 to 6 millimeters long; the spikelet spindles are 2 millimeters or longer after the fruits have fallen off.


The German lawn rush occurs exclusively in western Europe , namely in Portugal , Spain , France , Belgium , the Netherlands , Germany , Denmark (including the Faroe Islands ), Great Britain (including the Shetland Islands and Hebrides ), Ireland , Norway and Sweden . It is replaced by the common turf rush to the south, north and east.

Their total area is given as 100,000 to one million km². The area share in Germany is 10 to 33 percent. Here it is proven in the northern Black Forest , in the Harz and in the northern German lowlands . The Federal Republic represents the south-east outer edge of its continuously populated area.

Site conditions

The German turf rush is a light plant ; it grows optimally in full light and can only tolerate shading to a limited extent. Your ecological focus is on wet, flooded in part, strongly acidic, very low nitrogen peat soils and Anmoor . It is not salt bearing. It is also a moderate heat indicator. The German turf rush has a heavyweight in submontane temperate areas of western Europe with an oceanic climate. Their ecological behavior can be classified as follows using the pointer values ​​according to Ellenberg : L-8, T-5, K-2, F-9, R-1, N-1, S-0 .

The German lawn rush is a so-called competitive stress strategist . Plant taxa of this group are persistent, competitive species on sites with at least one minimum or maximum ecological factor (stress). These include, for example, marsh plants, plants in dry locations or tall mountain plants that can cope with the extreme conditions of their locations and thus have a competitive advantage over other plants.

A characteristic of the German turf rush - and many other raised bog plants - is an effective internal nutrient cycle . The nutrients required to build up the above-ground parts of the plant are shifted back to the base of the shoot during seed formation. In the following growing season , this supply can be mobilized without loss. Furthermore, an intensive rooting of the upper soil layers and the very close plant specimens prevent the nutrients from dead plant parts from being washed out.


The German turf rush forms a so-called mycorrhiza with fungi . This community allows them to better absorb the scarce soil nutrients. The German turf rush is wind-blooming ( anemophilia ), its seeds are also spread by the wind ( anemochory ).


Phytosociological the German deergrass is the Kennart the Association Sphagno compacti-Trichophoretum germanici (Oberd. 1938) Bartsch 1940 em. Dierßen 1975 (in German: Rasenbinsen-Anmoor) within the Glockenheide-Feuchtheide societies (Association Ericion tetralicis). Distinguishing types of these plant communities are Torfmoose as Sphagnum compactum , Sphagnum tenellum , further Glockenheide ( Erica tetralix ), Yellow Moor Lilie ( Narthecium ossifragum ) Schmalblättriges cotton grass ( Eriophorum angustifolium ), Blue Moorgrass ( Molinia caerulea ) and downy birch ( Betula pubescens ). Constant companions are other plants such as heather Ordinary Cranberry ( Vaccinium oxycoccos ), noise and blueberry ( Vaccinium uliginosum , Vaccinium myrtillus ) and the vaginal cotton grass ( Eriophorum vaginatum ).

Etymology of the scientific name

The generic name Trichophorum goes back etymologically to the infructescence which is covered with a fine tuft of woolly hair after the ripening period and is derived from the ancient Greek words thríx , genitive trichós and gr. -Phóros . Only the Alpine turf rush ( Trichophorum alpinum ) carries such a "woolly head" (peristome) and shows the close relationship to the genus of cotton grass ( Eriophorum ). In the other species of the genus Trichophorum, the flower envelope is reduced to fine bristles. The Artepithetum cespitosum comes from the Latin caespēs gene. caespitis and is translated as "turf-forming". The name for the subspecies germanicum is derived from the area Germany.

Horst the German turf rush in a raised bog nature reserve in northwest Germany

Hazard and protection

The German turf rush is safe throughout Europe and does not enjoy any special legal protection. In Germany, however, it is classified as “endangered” (hazard category 3). In Hamburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the German turf rush is considered "critically endangered" (hazard category 1). In Brandenburg and Berlin it is now "extinct" (hazard category 0).

In north-west Germany, the German rush has declined, especially due to the cultivation of bog heaths . In larger populations it only grows in a few nature reserves ; small remnants can usually be found on forest paths and edges in the area of ​​reforested heaths .

Sources and further information

Individual evidence

  1. a b Rafaël Govaerts (Ed.): Trichophorum cespitosum. In: World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) - The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  2. Jürke Grau , Bruno P. Kremer, Bodo M. Möseler, Gerhard Rambold, Dagmar Triebel: Grasses. Sweet grasses, sour grasses, rushes and grass-like families in Europe (= Steinbach's natural guide). New, edit. Special edition edition. Mosaik, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-576-10702-9 .
  3. a b Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora. Ulmer, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-8252-1828-7 .
  4. Worldwide distribution of common and German lawn rushes according to The Linnaeus Server [1] , accessed on September 9, 2006
  5. Heinz Ellenberg , HE Weber, R. Düll, V. Wirth, W. Werner & D. Paulißen: Pointer values ​​of plants in Central Europe. Scripta Geobotanica 18, Verlag Erich Goltze, 1992, ISBN 3-88452-518-2 .
  6. ^ Stefan Klotz, Ingolf Kühn : Ecological strategy types. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation Bonn, Series for Vegetation Science Issue 38, 2002, pages 197–201 Ecological strategy types STEFAN KLOTZ & INGOLF KÜHN Summary: Ecological strategy types ( Memento from May 31, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Claus-Peter Hutter (eds.), Alois Kapfer & Peter Poschlod: Swamps and Moore - Recognize, determine, protect biotopes. Weitbrecht Verlag, Stuttgart, Vienna, Bern, 1997, ISBN 3-522-72060-1 .
  8. ^ Richard Pott: Plant Societies of Germany. - Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart, 1992, ISBN 3-8252-8067-5
  9. Erich Oberdorfer: South German Plant Societies. Part I: Rock and wall communities, alpine corridors, water, silting and moor communities. 4th edition, Gustav Fischer, Jena, Stuttgart, 1998, ISBN 3-437-35280-6 .
  10. Helmut Genaust: Etymological dictionary of botanical plant names. 3rd, completely revised and expanded edition. Nikol, Hamburg 2005, ISBN 3-937872-16-7 (reprint from 1996).
  11. Klaus Kaplan: Ferns and flowering plants of nutrient-poor wetlands. Metelen series of publications for nature conservation. H. 3. Metelen 1992, ISSN  0936-7357 .

further reading

Web links

Commons : German lawn rush ( Trichophorum cespitosum )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on October 21, 2006 in this version .