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Overview

Brief Summary

Juncus effusus is a cosmopolitan rush species that occurs in most temperate world regions, including North America, Europe and Asia; moreover, the plant also can be found in many montane-tropical regions. Also Known as Soft rush, the clumping plant manifests stout but supple stems that may reach 1.5 meters in height. Habitats are diverse, but often feature moist areas at forest margins, wet grasslands, wetland margins, lake shores, river banks, and in fen-meadows.

  • *Jepson Manual. 1993. Juncus effusus University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
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Comprehensive Description

Description

General: Rush Family (Juncaceae). Soft rush is a rhizomatous, perennial herb with a large, tufted, cespitose growth form. Juncus effusus stems are stout but soft, 5-15 dm tall and 1.5-3 mm wide. The basal sheaths are bladeless or the inner ones tipped with a short awn, the edges usually overlapping nearly to the subtruncate or emarginate tip, with the veins converging at the tip. The leaves are dull chocolate brown or chestnut-colored at the base, the inner sheaths dark toward the summit. The inflorescence is a many-flowered, loosely clustered panicle, 2- 10 cm long. The capsule is oblong-obovoid, of about the same length as the perianth, and obtuse or retuse. The seeds are linear-oblong to elliptic, reticulate and amber in color .

Distribution: For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site. Soft rush occurs in wet places on hillsides or valley flats below 2500 m. It occurs through California to British Columbia, the eastern United States, Mexico, and Eurasia.

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Derivation of specific name

effusus: spreading
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Comments

This rush is rather ornamental and it is occasionally planted in ornamental wetland gardens. It can be distinguished from most other rushes by the absence of alternate leaves along its soft stems. Another rush species, Juncus balticus (Baltic Rush), also lacks such leaves, but it doesn't form tight bunches of stems and its seed capsules have more prominent beaks. Interestingly enough, a species from another genus, Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (Giant Bulrush; formerly Scirpus validus), superficially resembles Soft Rush because of its tendency to form clumps of soft leafless stems with drooping inflorescences. However, this latter species is usually taller (about 3-6' in length) and the stem-like bract of its inflorescence is shorter (about 4" or less). Like other Scirpus spp. (Bulrushes), each floret has a single scale at its base, rather than true sepals or petals, and no seed capsule is produced.
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Description

This native perennial rush is about 2-4' tall, forming vegetative clumps of unbranched stems that are erect to ascending. Each stem is medium green, terete (round in cross-section), soft, and hairless; it is typically about 4 mm. across at the base, becoming gradually more slender to about 2 mm. across near the inflorescence. Because each stem lacks cauline leaves, it has a naked appearance. At the base of each stem, there is a prominent dark-colored basal sheath; it is usually about 2-3" long and lacks any blade. Older sheaths often exist underneath this basal sheath, but they are withered and inconspicuous. The central stem terminates in an inflorescence and its stem-like bract. This bract is about 4-12" long and looks like a continuation of the stem beyond the inflorescence. The inflorescence is a compound umbel of florets that spans about ¾–4" across; it hangs from one side. Sometimes this umbel has rays (or branches) that are bunched together, while at other times the rays are widely spreading. The rays of this compound umbel are slender, somewhat curved or drooping, and irregular in length. At the base of the umbel, there may be a few basal bracts that are small and scale-like. Each terminal ray of the umbel has a single floret that is 2-3.5 mm. in length. Depending on the stage of their maturity, the florets can be green, straw-colored, or dark brown. Each floret consists of a 3 sepals, 3 petals, a central ovary (or seed capsule), 3 stamens, and a single style. The petals are inconspicuous and look like inner sepals. The sepals and petals are lanceolate in shape, spreading slightly away from ovary/capsule. The latter is ovoid-obovoid in shape and becomes about the same length as the sepals and petals at maturity; the ovary/capsule often has a tiny inconspicuous beak at its apex. The blooming period occurs during the summer. Cross-pollination is achieved by the wind. At maturity, the seed capsule splits open into 3 parts to release the tiny seeds, which can blow about in the wind or float on water. The seeds are about 0.5 mm. long, flattened, ellipsoid-ovoid, and brown; the 2 endpoints of each seed have tiny beaks. The root system consists of short scaly rhizomes and coarse fibrous roots. Cultivation
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Brief

"Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1 Year Assessed: 2011 Assessor/s: Juffe Bignoli, D. Reviewer/s: Zhuang, X., Bounphanmy, S. & Homsombath, K. Contributors: Molur, S. Justification: This species is widespread and locally common all over the world. It is listed as Least Concern. Conservation Actions: No population conservation information on this species."
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Brief

Flowering class: Monocot Habit: Herb
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Brief

Habit: Grass
  • Mathew, K. M. ""The flora of Palani Hills."" Rapinat Herbarium, Tiruchirapalli, Part I-III.
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Alternative names

Common rush. There are several taxonomic varieties of this species.

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Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Distribution

Range Description

Juncus effusus is a cosmopolitan species which occurs throughout most of Europe, Asia south to Indonesia, North America, the Atlantic islands and Madagascar.

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Range and Habitat in Illinois

Soft Rush is common in southern Illinois, occasional in northern Illinois, and uncommon or absent in the central part of the state (see Distribution Map). For some reason, it has an oddly bifurcated range within the state. In addition to many areas of North America, this rush also occurs in Eurasia. Across its extensive range, many different varieties have been described. Apparently, only var. solutus occurs in Illinois. Habitats include prairie swales, soggy meadows along rivers, sloughs, marshes, seeps, edges of ponds and rivers, ditches, and poorly drained areas of fallow fields. This moderately robust rush can tolerate some degradation of a wetland site if it is not too severe.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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"
Global Distribution

Cosmopolitan

Indian distribution

State - Kerala, District/s: Idukki

"
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"Range Description: Juncus effusus is a cosmopolitan species which occurs throughout most of Europe, Asia south to Indonesia, North America, the Atlantic islands and Madagascar. Countries - Native: Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Australia; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bolivia; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Burundi; Canada; China (Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Tibet [or Xizang], Yunnan, Zhejiang); Colombia (Colombia (mainland)); Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Costa Rica (Costa Rica (main island)); Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Ecuador (Ecuador (mainland)); El Salvador; Estonia; Finland; France (Corse, France (mainland)); Greece (East Aegean Is., Greece (mainland), Kriti); Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Hong Kong; Hungary; Iceland; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Kenya; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Madagascar; Mauritania; Mexico; Montenegro; Morocco; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Peru; Poland; Portugal (Azores, Portugal (mainland)); Romania; Russian Federation (Central European Russia, East European Russia, North European Russia, Northwest European Russia, South European Russia); Rwanda; Serbia; Slovenia; South Africa (North-West Province); Spain (Baleares, Canary Is., Spain (mainland)); Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Turkey (Turkey-in-Europe); Uganda; Ukraine; United Kingdom; United States; Venezuela (Venezuela (mainland)); Zimbabwe"
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"Common in swamps & marshes of upper Palnis. Elevation from 1800-2400m. Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, America."
  • Mathew, K. M. ""The flora of Palani Hills."" Rapinat Herbarium, Tiruchirapalli, Part I-III.
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Distribution in Egypt

Sinai (Feiran, Ain Musa).

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Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Shandong, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; widespread in temperate and montane-tropical regions].
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B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que.; Ala., Alaska, Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis.
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Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, America.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Elevation Range

1800-2300 m
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Description

Plants perennial, densely tufted. Rhizome shortly creeping, thick. Stems terete, 25--90 cm or taller × 1--3(--4) mm, striate; pith continuous. Cataphylls closely embracing stem, reddish brown to chestnut brown, sheathlike, 2--22 cm. Inflorescences pseudolateral, densely to laxly many flowered; involucral bract erect, seemingly a continuation of stem, terete, 5--28 cm. Perianth segments usually pale brown, linear-lanceolate, 2--2.7 × ca. 0.8 mm, unequal with outer ones slightly longer than inner, apex acute. Stamens 3(or 6), ca. 2/3 as long as perianth; anthers 0.5--0.7 mm, slightly shorter than filaments. Ovary 3-loculed. Style very short. Capsule ovoid to oblong, slightly depressed or not, subequaling or slightly longer than perianth, 3-septate, apex obtuse. Seeds ovoid-oblong, 0.5--0.6 mm, reticulate. Fl. Apr--Jul, fr. May--Sep. 2 n = 40, 42.
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Description

Herbs, perennial, 4--13 dm. Rhizomes short -branched, forming distinct, often large clumps. Culms erect, terete, 1--2.5 mm diam. at top of sheaths. Cataphylls several. Leaves: blade absent. Inflorescences lateral, compound dichasia, many flowered; primary bract erect, terete, extending well beyond dichasium. Flowers: tepals tan or darker, usually with greenish midstripe, lanceolate, 1.9--3.5 mm; inner slightly shorter; stamens 3, filaments 0.5--0.8 mm, anthers 0.5--0.8 mm; style 0.2 mm. Capsules greenish tan or darker, 3-locular, broadly ellipsoid to oblate, 1.5--3.2 mm. Seeds amber, (0.3--)0.4---0.5 mm. 2n = 40, 42.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

"Culms tufted, from a short-jointed, horizontal rhizome, terete, erect, glabrous, to 140 cm tall. Leaves reduced to sheaths; sheaths rounded, to 10 cm, with a caducous awn, closely culm-clasping. Inflorescence of cymes, pseudo-lateral on the stem, solitary, to 4 cm long and 7 cm wide, many flowered; bract to 18 cm long, continuous with the culm. Flowers mostly stalked, but sessile at forks; bracteoles 2, broadly ovate, acute, yellowish, to 0.1 x 0.06 cm. Tepals narrowly ovate-elliptic, acute, subequal, margins transparent; midrib prominent. Stamens usually 3. Ovary obovoid; style short; stigma erect. Capsule obovoid, 3-gonous, to 0.3 x 0.2 cm; seeds numerous, oblong, brownish."
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Synonym

Juncus conglomeratus Linnaeus; J. effusus var. brunneus Engelmann; J. effusus var. caeruleomontanus H. St. John; J. effusus var. conglomeratus (Linnaeus) Engelmann; J. effusus var. costulatus FernaldSt. John; J. effusus var. dicipiens Buchenau; J. effusus var. exiguus Fernald & Wiegand; J. effusus var. gracilis Hooker, J. effusus var. pacificus Fernald & Wiegand; J. effusus var. pylaei (Laharpe) Fernald & Wiegand; J. effusus var. solutus Fernald & Wiegand; J. effusus var. subglomeratus Lamarck & de Candolle; J. griscomii Fernald, J. pylaei Laharpe
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology

J. effusus is a tuft-forming perennial, which may occur as scattered plants or stands in natural and semi-natural habitats, but will develop extensive stands and become dominant to the exclusion of other species as a result of inappropriate land-use such as over-grazing of wet pasture. J. effusus occurs in most wetland habitats but is most typical of wet pasture and moorland. It is common on the margins of rivers, ponds, lakes and ditches and will occur as scattered stands in open, wet woodland. It apparently avoids base-rich soils and is most characteristic of sandy and peaty substrates, especially open heaths and moors.


Systems
  • Freshwater
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Range and Habitat in Illinois

Soft Rush is common in southern Illinois, occasional in northern Illinois, and uncommon or absent in the central part of the state (see Distribution Map). For some reason, it has an oddly bifurcated range within the state. In addition to many areas of North America, this rush also occurs in Eurasia. Across its extensive range, many different varieties have been described. Apparently, only var. solutus occurs in Illinois. Habitats include prairie swales, soggy meadows along rivers, sloughs, marshes, seeps, edges of ponds and rivers, ditches, and poorly drained areas of fallow fields. This moderately robust rush can tolerate some degradation of a wetland site if it is not too severe.
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General Habitat

"Habitat and Ecology: It grows scattered mostly in wetland habitats although it can also occur in wet pasture or moorlands. It is found in margins of ponds, rivers, lakes and open wet woodlands. Systems: Freshwater"
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General Habitat

Marshy areas
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Forest margins, wet grasslands, pools, morasses, lake margins, river banks, fields, rice fields; 200--3400 m.
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Swamps and their edges, marshes, moist meadows, and moist or saturated soils, often conspicuous in pasture meadows where it is shunned by grazing animals; Habitat??; 0--2500m.
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Dispersal

Establishment

                          Juncus effusus is easily propagated from bare root stock or seedlings, from container stalk, or directly seeded into the soil. Bare root stock or seedlings are preferred revegetation methods where there is moving water. These plants can be invasive. They are useful for stabilization and revegetation of disturbed areas. Juncus effusus requires moderate summer watering (irrigation), generally 1 - 4 times per month depending on the absorption rate and water retention capacity of the soil. Salt rush plants may need to have their roots in moist or wet soils. These native plants are especially good for stabilizing or restoring disturbed or degraded areas for erosion and slope control.

                          Live Plant Collections: The following information on Juncus balticus is provided by J. Chris Hoag and Mike Zierke (USDA, NRCS, Plant Materials Center, Aberdeen, Idaho). Due to their taxonomic and habitat similarity, it is likely that Juncus effusus establishes in a similar manner.

                        • Planting plugs is the surest way to establish a new stand of this species. Plug spacing of 25-30 cm will fill in within one growing season. Fluctuating the water level during the establishment period may speed spread of Juncus. Water levels can be managed to enhance spread and control weeds.

                      • Clip leaves and stems to 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 inches) before planting; this allows the plant to allocate more energy into root production. Transplants should be planted as soon as possible in moist (not flooded or anoxic) soils. Plants should be transported and stored in a cool location prior to planting. The roots should always remain moist or in water until planted.

                    • Soil should be kept saturated after planting. Plants can tolerate 2.5 - 8 cm of standing water as long as the level fluctuates over the growing season. Allow roots to become established before flooding soils if possible.

                  • Ideally, plants should be planted in late fall just after the first rains (usually late October to November). Survival is highest when plants are dormant and soils are moist.

                • Fertilization is very helpful for plant growth and reproduction. Many more seeds are produced with moderate fertilization.

                Seed Collections: The flowering period is late May to August, occasionally to September. Seed ripens in early August. Phenology will change by area, aspect, elevation, and specific site conditions.

              • Seed may be collected by hand, using a pair of hand shears, or with a gas-powered handheld seed harvester.

            • The tiny, black seeds are easily lost from the capsules when collecting by hand. Be careful to keep capsules upright before putting in collection bag. Use paper sacks when collecting seeds for this species.

          • To clean the seed, run the collection through a hammermill to break up debris and knock the seeds loose. Use a 1/20 inch screen on the top and a solid sheet on the bottom of the seed cleaner. Adjust the air flow to blow off the chaff. The cleaning process can be speeded up by shaking the hammermilled collection to settle seed to the bottom of the pan. The top portion of the chaff can then be discarded and the seed-rich mixture that is left in the bottom can be run through the seed cleaner.

          Seed germination in greenhouse:

        • Seeds need light, moisture and heat for germination. Soaking the seeds in water for 1 - 7 days will decrease the time the seed takes to sprout.

      • To grow seeds, place on soil surface and press in lightly to assure good soil contact. Do not cover the seed. Soil should be kept moist. Greenhouse should be kept hot (32-38°C).

    • Seeds begin to germinate in approximately 1 week. Maintain soil moisture until plants are to be transplanted. Seedlings cannot withstand long periods without water while growing in the greenhouse.

  • Plants are ready in 100 - 120 days to come out as plugs. By planting seeds in August, plugs are ready to plant in soil by November. These plants are very small; growing plants to a larger size will result in increased revegetation success.

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Associations

Faunal Associations

Some insects feed on Juncus spp. (Rushes), including Plateumaris pusilla (Leaf Beetle sp.), Limotettix cuneatus (Leafhopper sp.), Macrosteles potoria (Leafhopper sp.), larvae of Eutomostethus luteiventris (Sawfly sp.), and larvae of Archanara subflava (Subflava Sedge Borer Moth). Of these, the larvae of the preceding sawfly species are associated with the Soft Rush in particular. It is possible that some wetland and songbirds feed on the seed capsules of wetland rushes; if so, their importance as a food source is minor. Among mammalian herbivores, Muskrats are known to feed on the foliage and rootstocks of Soft Rush and other rushes occasionally. Because Soft Rush is fairly tall and can form dense colonies, it has the capacity to provide significant cover and nesting habitat for wetland birds and other kinds of wildlife. Because the tiny seeds can cling to the feathers or muddy feet of ducks and other wetland birds, these animals help to distribute this rush to new wetland sites.
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Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, clypeate perithecium of Anthostomella tomicoides is saprobic on dead Juncus effusus

Foodplant / saprobe
sporodochium of Arthrinium dematiaceous anamorph of Arthrinium sporophleum is saprobic on newly dead leaf of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 3-4

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Cercospora dematiaceous anamorph of Cercospora juncicola is saprobic on dead leaf of Juncus effusus

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
colony of Cercosporella anamorph of Cercosporella junci parasitises live leaf of Juncus effusus

Foodplant / miner
larva of Cerodontha luctuosa mines leaf of Juncus effusus
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Cistella fugiens is saprobic on dead inflorescence of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 12-10

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Conoplea dematiaceous anamorph of Conoplea fusca is saprobic on dead stem of Juncus effusus

Foodplant / saprobe
short-stalked apothecium of Cudoniella junciseda is saprobic on dead, fallen fruit of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 7

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Dactylaria dematiaceous anamorph of Dactylaria junci is saprobic on dead leaf of Juncus effusus

Foodplant / spot causer
colony of Dactylaria anamorph of Dactylaria juncicola causes spots on leaf of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 4-5

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Dictyosporium dematiaceous anamorph of Dictyosporium toruloides is saprobic on dead stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / open feeder
last instar larva of Eutomostethus luteiventris grazes on sterile shoot of Juncus effusus
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
very numerous, in parallel rows, immersed then somewhat prominent, globose, rather shining, black pycnidium of Hendersonia coelomycetous anamorph of Hendersonia innumerosa is saprobic on dead stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 11-5

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Hyaloscypha paludosa is saprobic on dead stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 6-10

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial stroma of Hypocrea pilulifera is saprobic on dead, rotten stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 7

Foodplant / saprobe
stroma of Hypocrea placentula is saprobic on culm base of Juncus effusus

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, then revealed apothecium of Hysteropezizella pusilla is saprobic on dead stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 5-9

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Lachnum apalum is saprobic on wet, dead Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: winter

Foodplant / saprobe
stalked apothecium of Lachnum clavisporum is saprobic on dead stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 7

Foodplant / saprobe
very short-stalked apothecium of Lachnum diminutum is saprobic on dead stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 5-10

Foodplant / saprobe
subcuticular, opening by a slit conidioma of Leptostroma coelomycetous anamorph of Leptostroma juncacearum is saprobic on dead stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 2-9

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Alternaria dematiaceous anamorph of Macrospora scirpicola is saprobic on dead, standing stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 9-5

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial, sessile, clypeate apothecium of Micropeziza cornea is saprobic on dead leaf of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 3-7

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile apothecium of Mollisia juncina is saprobic on dead Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 5-9

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile apothecium of Mollisia palustris is saprobic on dead, rotting stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 3-10

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Mycocalia denudata is saprobic on dead, wet leaf of Juncus effusus

Foodplant / saprobe
embedded, opening by little slits stroma of Discula coelomycetous anamorph of Myriosclerotinia curreyana is saprobic on dead, bleached stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 7-9
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Niptera lacustris is saprobic on dead, greyish, standing stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 10

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent apothecium of Niptera melatephra is saprobic on dead stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 6-7

Fungus / saprobe
colony of Periconia dematiaceous anamorph of Periconia atra is saprobic on dead Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 4-9

Fungus / saprobe
colony of Periconia dematiaceous anamorph of Periconia curta is saprobic on dead Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 1-12

Fungus / saprobe
colony of Periconia dematiaceous anamorph of Periconia digitata is saprobic on dead Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: mainly winter

Fungus / saprobe
colony of Periconia dematiaceous anamorph of Periconia funerea is saprobic on dead Juncus effusus

Fungus / saprobe
effuse colony of Periconia dematiaceous anamorph of Periconia hispidula is saprobic on dry, dead Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile apothecium of Pezizella nigrocorticata is saprobic on dead leaf of Juncus effusus

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Chaetochalara dematiaceous anamorph of Phaeoscypha cladii is saprobic on dead Juncus effusus

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pseudothecium of Phaeosphaeria juncina is saprobic on dead stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 7-8

Foodplant / saprobe
sometimes confluent stroma of Phyllachora junci is saprobic on dead leaf of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 9-7

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed perithecium of Phyllachora therophila is saprobic on Juncus effusus

Foodplant / saprobe
acervulus of Psammina coelomycetous anamorph of Psammina bommeriae is saprobic on dead Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: (4-)10-11
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Rimbachia arachnoidea is saprobic on live Juncus effusus

Fungus / saprobe
effuse colony of Selenosporella dematiaceous anamorph of Selenosporella curvispora is saprobic on dead leaf of Juncus effusus

Foodplant / saprobe
numerous, immersed, more or less linearly arranged, fuscous, covered pycnidium of Septoria coelomycetous anamorph of Septoria junci is saprobic on dead culm of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 2-10

Foodplant / saprobe
subepidermal, in lines conidioma of Septoriella coelomycetous anamorph of Septoriella junci is saprobic on dead stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 2-10

Foodplant / saprobe
pycnidium of Stagonospora coelomycetous anamorph of Stagonospora vitensis is saprobic on dead Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 5-8

Foodplant / saprobe
scattered, immersed perithecium of Sydowiella juncina is saprobic on culm of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 6

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Unguicularia costata is saprobic on dead stem of Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 10-7

Foodplant / parasite
telium of Uromyces junci parasitises live Juncus effusus
Remarks: season: 7 onwards

Fungus / saprobe
sporodochium of Volutella anamorph of Volutella arundinis is saprobic on dead leaf of Juncus effusus

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering and fruiting: November-April
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Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering summer, fruiting summer--fall.
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Life Expectancy

Perennial.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Juncus effusus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Juncus effusus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 16
Specimens with Barcodes: 22
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2014

Assessor/s
Lansdown, R.V.

Reviewer/s
Smith, K.

Contributor/s
Juffe Bignoli, D.

Justification

This species is classed as Least Concern as it is widespread with stable populations and does not face any major threats.


History
  • 2013
    Least Concern
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: TNR - Not Yet Ranked

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T4 - Apparently Secure

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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"Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1 Year Assessed: 2011 Assessor/s: Juffe Bignoli, D. Reviewer/s: Zhuang, X., Bounphanmy, S. & Homsombath, K. Contributors: Molur, S. Justification: This species is widespread and locally common all over the world. It is listed as Least Concern. Conservation Actions: No population conservation information on this species."
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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as, state noxious status and wetland indicator values.

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Population

Population

This species is widespread and abundant throughout its known range. There is no detailed information available on population size.


Population Trend
Stable
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Population: No population information available. Population Trend: Stable
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Threats

Major Threats

There are no known past, ongoing, or future threats to this species

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Major Threat (s): No information on its major threats.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions

There are no conservation measures in place and none needed.

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Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

Sumter Germplasm soft rush was released as a source identified material by the Jimmy Carter Plant Materials Center (GA) in 2008. It can be used in small constructed wetlands, wetland restoration and riparian buffers. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.” This plant is available at many nurseries nationwide.

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Hydrology is the most important factor in determining wetland type, revegetation success, and wetland function and value. Changes in water levels influence species composition, structure, and distribution of plant communities. Water management is absolutely critical during plant establishment, and remains crucial through the life of the wetland for proper community management (Hoag et al. 1995). Juncus species can tolerate periods of drought and total inundation. It is important to keep transplanted plugs moist, not flooded, until roots are established. Water levels can then be managed to enhance or reduce spread as well as control terrestrial weeds.

Muskrats have evolved with wetland ecosystems and form a valuable component of healthy functioning wetland communities. Muskrats use emergent wetland vegetation such as Juncus species for hut construction and for food. Typically, an area of open water is created around the huts. Muskrat eatouts increase wetland diversity by providing opportunities for aquatic vegetation to become established in the open water and the huts provide a substrate for shrubs and other plant species.

Juncus species tend to be fairly resilient to insect and disease problems. Aphids may feed on the stems, but rarely cause significant damage. If an insect or disease problem is encountered in the greenhouse, treatment options may be limited by cultural constraints if these plants are to be used by Indian basketweavers. Pesticide exposure is higher for basketweavers than the rest of the population. Juncus culms are split with the mouth to process basketry materials; therefore, an unusually high degree of human exposure and risk occur with plants designated for ethnobotanic use. Rushes are perennial, rhizomatous plants. In most cases, they will out-compete other species within the wetland area of the site, eliminating the need for manual or chemical control of invasive species.

Traditional Resource Management: The management of Juncus effusus stands includes the following: ownership of prime basket rush sites, stimulation of new growth through harvesting stalks, periodic burning, and not harvesting when soils are very mucky and likely to be compacted. The stalks are cut above the rhizomes and roots, leaving plenty of buds to regrow new shoots. As with other rhizomatous species, harvesting stimulates new growth and maintains the clone in a juvenile or immature growth phase, where productivity is highest.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

"Uses: Used for making mats & baskets; Decoction of pith as antilithic, pectoral, discutient; also as diuretic & depurative"
  • Mathew, K. M. ""The flora of Palani Hills."" Rapinat Herbarium, Tiruchirapalli, Part I-III.
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Uses

Ethnobotanic: Coiled basketry prevails in Southern California, with the mottled yellowish brown of soft rush providing a natural colored and variegated background (Turnbaugh and Turnbaugh 1986). Juncus stems are used in the coiled baskets of Southern California tribes such as the Cahuilla, Luiseño, Chumash, Diegueño, Agua Caliente, Gabrieliño, Juaneño, Death Valley Shoshone, and Fernandeno (Barrows 1967; Murphey 1959). The foundation material is made of Juncus balticus and Juncus effusus, and the sewing material is made of Juncus textilis. The Quinalt of western Washington used soft rush for plaiting tumplines for baskets (Gunther 1973). They also mixed soft rush with cattails to make string. The Snoqualmie used the stalks for tying things.

The early sprouts of soft rush were sometimes eaten raw by the Snoqualmie of Washington (Gunther 1973). Juncus shoots were eaten raw, roasted in ashes, or boiled by Maidu, Luiseño, and others (Strike 1994). Owens Valley Paiute ate the seeds. Soft rush stalks were gathered in wetlands and were eaten on occasion by the Nlaka'pamux and Lillooet people of British Columbia (Kunlein and Turner 1991).

Soft rush, also called candle rush by the Japanese, is used for tatami mats. Large mats were also made by

California Indians by piercing holes in Juncus and threading cordage through the holes so the Juncus stalks were aligned side-by-side (Strike 1994). These flexible mats could be rolled and stored when not needed.

Wildlife: A wide range of mammal and avian species depend on Juncus species for food and habitat (Hoag and Zierke 1998). Waterfowl, songbirds, and small mammals such as jack rabbits, cottontail, muskrat, porcupine, and gophers (Martin 1951) eat rush seeds. Rushes provide habitat for amphibians and spawning areas for fish. Muskrats feed on the rootstalks of soft rush, and various wetland wading birds find shelter among the stems.

Livestock: Cattle will graze Juncus effusus late in the season after more palatable plants are eaten. Rushes tend to be resistant to grazing pressure and fairly unpalatable to cattle, so tend to increase in species composition in pastures.

Erosion & Restoration: Rushes provide the following conservation uses: erosion control, sediment accretion and stabilization, nutrient uptake and transformation, wildlife food and cover, restoration and creation of wetland ecosystems, and wastewater treatment applications (constructed wetlands). The rhizomatous nature, nitrogen fixation capabilities, dense root system, and phenotypic plasticity to flooding and drought stress provide high soil and slope stabilization capabilities, particularly in areas with flooded soils or fluctuating hydrology. The rhizomes form a matrix for many beneficial bacteria, making this plant an excellent addition for wastewater treatment. This species can have invasive characteristics in certain situations.

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Wikipedia

Juncus effusus

"Soft Rush" redirects here. In inland North America, this usually refers to Interior Rush (J. interior).

"Common Rush" redirects here.

Soft rush or common rush (Juncus effusus) is plant species in the Juncaceae. It is nearly cosmopolitan, considered native in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and South America, and naturalized in Australia, Madagascar, and various oceanic islands.[1][2][3][4][5] It is found growing in wet areas, such as the purple moor-grass and rush pastures and fen-meadow plant associations in the United Kingdom.

Description[edit]

It grows in large clumps about 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) tall at the water's edge along streams and ditches, but can be invasive anywhere with moist soil. It is commonly found growing in humus-rich areas like marshes, ditches, fens, and beaver dams.

The stems are smooth cylinders with light pith filling. The yellowish inflorescence appears to emerge from one side of the stem about 20 centimetres (8 in) from the top. In fact the stem ends there; the top part is the bract, that continues with only a slight colour-band marking it from the stem. The lower leaves are reduced to a brown sheath at the bottom of the stem.

Distinction from other species[edit]

Juncus effusus can be differentiated from the rarer J. pylaei by the number of ridges on the stem. J. effusus has 30 to 40 ridges and J. pylaei has 10 to 20.[6]

Differentiation within the species[edit]

Five varieties are recognized:[1]

  1. Juncus effusus subsp. austrocalifornicus Lint - California and Baja California
  2. Juncus effusus subsp. effusus - widespread
  3. Juncus effusus subsp. laxus (Robyns & Tournay) Snogerup - tropical Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius, Canary Islands, Madeira
  4. Juncus effusus subsp. pacificus (Fernald & Wiegand) Piper & Beattie - Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California, Baja California
  5. Juncus effusus subsp. solutus (Fernald & Wiegand) Hämet-Ahti - eastern Canada, eastern + central United States

Cultivation[edit]

Juncus effusus f. spiralis (syn. J. spiralis; J. effusus 'Spiralis) or Corkscrew Rush (Spiral Rush) is a popular ornamental water plant due to its tortuous spiral like foliage.[7]

Control of rushes[edit]

Soft rush can become invasive because of its unpalatability to livestock. Suggested methods of controlling rushes are

  • Ploughing
  • Drainage
  • High applications of inorganic fertiliser, coupled with taking silage crops. However application of farm yard manure is ineffective
  • Topping, i.e. to prevent seed formation and distribution into the soil, followed by autumn or winter flooding for a week or two

Burning is ineffective because the plant remains green through the winter.

Environmental benefit[edit]

Wildfowl and wader feeding and nesting habitat, also a habitat to small mammals.

A number of invertebrates feed on soft rush, including the rufous minor moth

Uses[edit]

In Japan, this rush is grown to be woven into the covering of tatami mats.

In Europe, this rush was once used to make rushlights (by soaking the pith in grease), a cheap alternative to candles.

In hui sup tea, Juncus effusus is listed as one of the seven ingredients.

Chemistry[edit]

Juncusol is a 9,10-dihydrophrenathrene found in J. effusus.[8][9] The plant also contains effusol[10] and dehydroeffusol.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Kirschner, J. & al. (2002). Juncaceae. Species Plantarum: Flora of the World 6-8: 1-237, 1-336,1-192. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra.
  3. ^ Al-Qura'n, S. (2011). The flora of Jordan: A taxonomical revision of Juncaceae. Arnaldoa 18: 33-36.
  4. ^ Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 48, 灯心草 deng xin cao, Juncus effusus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 326. 1753
  5. ^ Flora of North America vol 22, Soft rush, Juncus effusus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 326. 1753.
  6. ^ Morton, J.K. and Venn, Joan. M. (2000). "The Flora of Manitoulin Island". University of Waterloo Biology Series n. 40. 3rd. edition. 
  7. ^ Heritage Perennials: Juncus effusus f. spiralis
  8. ^ Bhattacharyya,Experientia,36,(1980),27
  9. ^ Shima,Phytochem.,30,(1991),3149
  10. ^ Phenanthrene synthesis: The synthesis of effusol a 9,10-Dihydrophenanthrene from the marsh grass Juncus effusus. CF Carvalho, MV Sargent and E Stanojevic, Australian Journal of Chemistry, 1984, volume 37, issue 10, pages 2111-2117, doi:10.1071/CH9842111
  11. ^ Anxiolytic and Sedative Effects of Dehydroeffusol from Juncus effusus in Mice. You-Jiao Liao, Hai-Feng Zhai, Bing Zhang, Tian-Xuan Duan and Jian-Mei Huang, Planta Med., 2011, volume 77, pages 416–420, doi:10.1055/s-0030-1250517
  1. Peter F.Zika (2003). "The native subspecies of Juncus effusus (Juncaceae) in western North America". Brittonia 55 (2): 150–156. doi:10.1663/0007-196X(2003)055[0150:TNSOJE]2.0.CO;2. JSTOR 3218455. 
  2. C. Michael Hogan, ed. 2010. Juncus effusus. Encyclopedia of Life.
  3. Cutting Rushes Article in Conservation Land Management Magazine, Spring 2003, see British Wildlife Publishing website for a copy
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Notes

Comments

The Juncus effusus complex has been variously recognized as containing several species or a single species with numerous infraspecific taxa. Unfortunately, North American treatments have dealt primarily with taxa in either the eastern or western portions of the continent. In considering the continent as a whole, little sense can be made of these treatments. The North American J. effusus complex is one that is in obvious need of modern systematic scrutiny.
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Comments

The pith is used as a wick for oil lamps and candles, and also medicinally as a diuretic and tranquilizer.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Treated as Juncus hesperius in Snogerup et al. (2002).

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