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Weed Identification

poverty rush

Family

Juncaceae

Scientific Name

Juncus tenuis

Other Common Names:

wiregrass
wiregrass
wiregrass

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Juncus tenuis var. multicornis
Juncus tenuis var. williamsii
Juncus macer

Habit

A grass-like plant that grows in clumps. Most growth occurs in summertime along with flower and seed production.

Leaves

Seedling leaves are grass-like and have white auricles. Leaves arise at the base of plants and are flat on the ends but the margins roll inward until the leaf is almost round and hollow as it folds in on itself. Ligules are absent but auricles are papery like a ligule. The auricles are ear-like extensions.

Identifying Characteristics

Leaf-like bracts that extend beyond the flowering cluster and hollow stems.

Flower Seed Head

Flowers are borne on long stems that are round, hollow, wiry, and dark green. Flowers occur from June through August and are produced in clusters (cymes) near the ends of the stems. Two (up to 10 in long) leaf-like bracts often extend beyond the flower cluster. Flowers are small, greenish brown (2.8-5 mm long), with lanceolate sepals and petals (3 each).

Seed Fruit

Fruit are egg-shaped capsules (2.6-4.2 mm long) that split into 3 sections at maturity. Seeds are small (0.5 mm or smaller in length) and orange-brown.

Where Found

Slender rush is a weed of turfgrass, landscapes, and nursery crops, especially along paths and in gravel or stone driveways and roads. It also grows in pastures, meadows, and waste places, on both moist and dry sites. It is particularly successful in compacted soils. It is native to all 50 states.

Leaf Hair on Upper Surface

no hairs

Leaf Arrangement

rolled in bud

Mature Leaf Width

less than 5 mm

Stem

round

Seedhead

flowers

Life Cycle

perennial

Auricle

present

Ligule

none

Ligule Length

none

Plant Type

Grass-like