• Juncus effusus - Soft Rush


    "This wetland perennial grass is generally known by many names such as common rush, mat rush or soft rush.  It is found in bogs, marshes and swamps and is native over large portions of temperate climates of the world.  Varieties can be found throughout the United States except for South Dakota, Wyoming, and Utah.  They prefer full sun but can tolerate some shade.  They require consistently moist soil so they will grow in pots and as house plants. They can be grown in 1-2 gallon containers with no more than 3 - 5 inches of water over the crown.  Spreading and propagation are by division of the rhizomes and self-seeding which can be difficult to control  Planting the rhizomes in in-ground pots with the lip above ground can help limit the spread.  In zones with warm winters they can remain evergreen.  In cooler climes, the foliage becomes yellow, then brown in fall to winter dying back to the ground. Juncus effusus has no leaves, but the stems are attractive upright, cylindrical green and smooth from 12 - 36 inches in height and spreading in clumps.  The late summer-blooming flowers are yellowish-green to brown in many-flowered cymes with an obovoid capsule following as fruit." (North Carolina Extension)

    Juncus Effusus Botany by Dr. John Hilty

    Rushes: an Introduction

    Juncus in landscape 

    Faunal Associations:

    Muskrats commonly feed on the foliage of Juncus effusus and other rushes. 

    "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." (Hilty)

    Common Name: common rush

    Type: Rush or Sedge
    Family: Juncaceae
    Native Range: Eurasia, North America, Australia, New Zealand
    Zone: 4 to 9
    Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
    Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
    Bloom Time: June to August
    Bloom Description: Yellowish-green
    Sun: Full sun
    Water: Wet
    Maintenance: Low
    Suggested Use: Water Plant, Naturalize, Rain Garden
    Flower: Showy
    Tolerate: Erosion, Wet Soil


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    2. :By Christian Fischer, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=212034
    3. By Didier Descouens - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=104722218
    4. By Jan Kops - www.BioLib.de, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18887846
    5. By Johann Georg Sturm (Painter: Jacob Sturm) - Figure from Deutschlands Flora in Abbildungen at http://www.biolib.de, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=736827

    Muskrat: "Muskrat on a lake shore" By mikroskops at Panoramio - Cropped from File:Ондатра и любопытные птенцы - mikroskops - Panoramio.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=99278159

    John Hilty botany, faunal associations: John Hilty,  Juncus Effusus Botany, Illinois Wildflowers, Copyright 2004-2019. Accessed 16 February 2022

    Juncus in landscape: "Forest in spring, Union County, NC" by Kristyna Culp is licensed under CC BY 4.0

    Harper, Lizzie. “Rushes: An Introduction.” Lizzie Harper, 19 July 2018, https://lizzieharper.co.uk/2018/07/rushes-an-introduction/.

    Information and images compiled by Erik N. Vegeto

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