Type. Davis 21536: Turkey, Cankiri Providence, Ilgav District, Yaylacik; 1000 meters in Pinus nigra forest; June 5, 1954. (K.)
Hybrids. None have been reported and none were found during this study.
Luzula forsteri is a wide ranging species that is very distinct and easily distinguished from any other member of the subgenus. Morphologically it is more closely related to L. plumosa, from which it differs in the lack of a large hooked caruncle on the seed, and the presence of a mucro on the callose tip of the leaf.
Experiments by Nordenskiold indicates that genetically L. forsteri is most closely
related to L. luzulina. The Fi hybrids produced were 80 to 90 percent fertile
and some of the Fo progeny were 100 percent fertile. Present information, however,
indicates that these two species do not hybridize in nature. This lack of
hybridization is due to a difference in blooming period and ecological conditions
that will be discussed more fully under L. luzulina.
The only other species which occurs in the same general region and with
which Luzula forsteri would have an opportunity to hybridize in nature is L.
pilosa. Both of these species are found in Europe, but L. pilosa generally occurs
farther north. These species do come into contact, however, and some hybridization takes place. Fi hybrids between these two species are completely sterile, according to Nordenskiold's experiments, but Ebinger (1962a) found that this hybrid occasionally sets a few seeds and that it may backcross with one of the parents.
The material that is now considered Luzida forsteri was combined with Juncus
pilosus (= L. pilosa) until 1804. Once it was recognized as being specifically
distinct, however, this concept was accepted by most botanists. Most of the names
attributed to this species are transfers to other genera that are now considered
synonyms of Luzida. In a few cases, however, the names are later described synonyms
(L. decolor and L. gesneri) or herbarium names (L. barrelieri) that were
introduced into the literature as synonyms of L. forsteri.
Although the variety forsteri is relatively constant in its characters, many of
the specimens from Spain, Portugal, northwest Africa and the Canary Islands
have culm leaves that are wider than is usual for members of this variety. Plants
with this characteristic have been referred to as Luzula decolor by earlier authors.
The variety pallida, which is here considered a synonym of L. forsteri var.
forsteri, was described as having flowers that are pale yellow in color. This condition
was sometimes found, but seems not to be correlated with a particular
locality, but rather represents the normal variation of the species. Variety rhizomata,
in contrast, has a distinct geographic range, and is easily separated from
variety forsteri by the presence of rhizomes.