Scientific Name: Juncus effusus

Common Name: common rush

Habit: This evergreen perennial, flowers from June to September. This plant grows in dense clumps, up to 4 ft in height.

Leaves: Instead of traditional leaves, Soft Rush has upright cylindrical stalks that are hollow with a white pithy core.

Identifying Characteristics: Soft rush propagates both by seed, and by division.

Flower Seed Head: Each olive green flower sprouts from the sides of the stem, with as many as 30 to 100 flowers per branch. Each flower has 3 petals and 3 sepals. Above the flower is an involucral bract, which is a continuation of the stem. This is usually brown or grayish in color when the plant matures.

Seed Fruit: Seeds are found in smooth, brown, ovoid capsules that grow up to 1/16 of an inch in length. The straw colored seeds are 1/40 inch in diameter.

Where Found: This plant prefers moist soil, particularly near ponds and swamps. It can grow in full sunlight, but is normally found in shady areas. Soft Rush can grow both in fresh, or salt waters.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Grass-like

  • Auricle: not present

  • Plant family: Juncaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: leaves not present

  • Hair surface: no hairs

  • Ligule: none

  • Length: none

  • Seed head: panicle

  • Width: less than 5 mm

  • Grass stem: round