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The large globoid seedheads (about ½" across) help to distinguish Torrey's Rush from many other Juncus spp. (Rushes). In particular, the seed capsules are unusually long and pointed. This species is somewhat variable across its range with respect to the number of seedheads that are produced per plant and the size of those seedheads. A similar species, Juncus nodosus, is largely restricted to NE Illinois. It has smaller seedheads (about 1/3" across) that contain fewer florets (about 10-25). Like Torrey's Rush, this species has seed capsules that are slender and pointed. Another species, Juncus brachycarpus, also has globoid seedheads (about 1/3" across). However, its seed capsules are obovoid and blunt-topped, and they are shorter than their sepals. Finally, Juncus scirpoides also has globoid seedheads (about ½" across). Like Torrey's Rush, this latter species has seed capsules that are slender and pointed (about 4-5 mm. in length), but its sepals and petals are shorter (about 3 mm. in length). While Torrey's Rush and Juncus nodosus have 6 stamens per floret, Juncus brachycarpus and Juncus scirpoides have only 3 stamens per floret.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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