Juncus kraussii subsp. australiensis


Juncus: From the Latin jungere 'to tie or bind', the stems of some species being used to make cord (Johnson and Smith)

Common Name(s)

sea rush

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Juncus kraussii subsp. australiensis (Buchenau) Snogerup



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Rushes and Allied Plants


Juncus maritimus var. australiensis Buchenau


Indigenous. North, South and Chatham Islands. From Te Paki to the Okarito in the west and Dunedin in the South. Inland in the North Island at Lake Rotorua, at Orakeikorako, and in the South Island at Mesopotamia, Rangitata River


Primarily coastal where it is found in salt marshes, brackish stream, lagoon and river margins, estuaries. Also inland around geothermal vents at Lake Rotorua and Orakeikorako, and inland at the headwaters of the Rangitata River.


Dense to loosely tufted, dark brown to brownish-black, perennial herb. Rhizome 5-8 mm diameter, horizontal sparingly branched. Flowering stems 0.3-1.2 m tall, 1.5-3.0 mm diameter, rather distant along rhizome, rigid, terete, light to dark yellow-brown, dark brown or brownish-black; internal pith continuous; basal bracts stiff, acute, red-brown, upper ones obviously larger, broader and mucronate. Leaves 1-2, terete, bright green, sheathing at base, similar to the stems but shorter. Inflorescence apparently lateral, open, irregularly-branched, branchlets numerous, rigid, almost equaling the pungent sheathing bract. Flowers 3 mm long, clustered at the branchlet apices; tepals rigidly stiff, red-brown, midrib green to light brown. Stamens 3 perfect, 3 aborted, rarely with 1 or more of the usually aborted inner ring functional; anthers twice as long as filaments. Capsule slightly > tepals, dark brown to almost black, ovoid, shining, mucronate.

Similar Taxa

Most likely to be found growing with Juncus acutus L., an aggressive, introduced species with sharp-tipped bracts above the flower heads; J. kraussii differs in having open rather than densely compact inflorescence; flowers in small rather than large, compact clusters; and dark brown rather than red-brown capsules which are more or less equal to, rather than > in length to the tepals.


September - December

Flower Colours

Brown,Red / Pink


November - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and division of whole plants. An attractive species ideal in rock gardens and one that should be used more widely in coastal plantings, especially bordering saltmarshes.


Not Threatened

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Mucilaginous seeds are dispersed by attachment, wind and water (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Not commercially available


Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (1 September 2006). Description based on Moore & Edgar (1970).

References and further reading

Johnson, A. T. and Smith, H. A (1986). Plant Names Simplified: Their pronunciation, derivation and meaning. Landsman Bookshop Ltd: Buckenhill, UK.

Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Government Printer, Wellington.

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 28 Jun 2018