Hedgehog Woodrush is a common native rush found in most of Virginia. It formerly was considered part of the same species as the Common Woodrush (Luzula multiflora) before being split. Many woodrushes in North America are difficult to tell apart. The Hedgehog Woodrush gets its name because of its sharp-tipped sepals and petals. The scientific name echinata has a complicated origin. It is based on a nymph from Greek mythology whose top half was a beautiful woman and whose bottom half was a snake. The Greeks later used the same term to describe sea urchins, many of whom have sharp points, and hedgehogs, who have spines. One of the few egg-laying mammals in the world is the echidna, whose body is hedgehog-like and protected by spines; like the nymph, it is perceived to be have the qualities of both mammals and reptiles.
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