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Juncus effusus (Common rush)
Romfh, Peggy

Juncus effusus

Juncus effusus L.

Common Rush, Soft Rush

Juncaceae (Rush Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), HI (I), PR (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

The soft, grass-like stems of this strictly wetland plant are in clumps and each bears clusters of very small, greenish-brown, scaly flowers, the clusters diverging from one point on the side of the stalk near the top. This common marsh plant is one of many rushes, most of which are found in wet soil or water. Muskrats feed on the rootstalks, and birds find shelter among the stems.

A member of the family Juncaceae which includes herbs, rarely shrubs, with mostly grass-like leaves, usually in a basal tuft, and small greenish or brownish flower in dense spikes or heads or sometimes in loose clusters or even solitary.


From the Image Gallery

15 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: 6" to 1'
Leaf: Dark Green
Fruit: Brown

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
Canada: BC , NB , NL , NS , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Throughout much of North America, except far north.
Native Habitat: Swamps, damp open ground.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Clay, Loam, Sand


Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Research Literature

Reslit 412 - Effects of sodium hypochlorite sterilization and dry cold storage on germination of Juncus effusus L (2002) G. N. Ervin and R. G. Wetzel
Reslit 411 - Influence of a dominant macrophyte, Juncus effusus, on wetland plant species richness, diversity, and community composition (2002) G. N. Ervin and R. G. Wetzel
Reslit 407 - Spatio-temporally variable effects of a dominant macrophyte on vascular plant neighbors (2005) G. N. Ervin
Reslit 409 - Allelochemical autotoxicity in the emergent wetland macrophyte Juncus effusus (Juncaceae) (2000) G. N. Ervin and R. G. Wetzel
Reslit 334 - Use of aquatic and terrestrial plants for removing phosphorus from dairy wastewaters (1995) T. A. DeBusk, J. E. Peterson and K. R. Reddy
Reslit 555 - Identification of indole-3-acetic acid producing freshwater wetland rhizosphere bacteria associated with Juncus effusus L (2003) L. Halda-Alija
Reslit 659 - Denitrification in constructed wetlands used for treatment of swine wastewater (2003) P. G. Hunt, T. A. Matheny and A. A. Szogi
Reslit 660 - Constructed wetlands for treatment of swine wastewater from an anaerobic lagoon (2002) P. G. Hunt, A. A. Szogi, E. J. Humenik, J. M. Rice...
Reslit 661 - Response of selected nontarget native Florida wetland plant species to metsulfuron methyl (2008) J. T. Hutchinson and K. A. Langeland
Reslit 724 - Differential nitrogen and phosphorus retention by five wetland plant species (2003) J. T. Kao, J. E. Titus and W. X. Zhu

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

USDA: Find Juncus effusus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Juncus effusus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Juncus effusus


Record Modified: 2017-07-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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