Juncus scheuchzerioides


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)

None known

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

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 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Range Restricted


2012 - RR, SO
2009 - SO


Juncus scheuchzerioides Gaudich.



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Rushes and Allied Plants


Juncus inconspicuus D Urv., J. scheuchzerioides var. inconspicuus (D Urv.) Hook.f.


Indigenous. Antipodes, Auckland, Campbell Islands. Also Macquarie, Falkland, South Georgia, Marion, Crozet and Kerguelen Islands. Present in South America


Sea level to 300 m a.s.l. Usually in or near running water or in open peaty turf.


Densely tufted, dark green, red green or bright green perennial. Stems 20-200 x 0.2-0.5 mm. erect, densely branched from base, often creeping. Basal nodes sending out fibrous roots. Leaves numerous, basal and cauline, 10-200 x 0.5-1.0 mm, >> stems, herbaceous, narrow-linear, compressed, transversely septate, pale green, red green or bright green, leaf apex acute; sheath long, membranous, bearing two obtuse auricles. Inflorescence a simple compact head of 2-8 flowers, very rarely producing a second head. Flowers 4 mm long, tepals more or less equal, the outer acuminate, the inner ovate-oblong, obtuse or shortly acuminate, light green or light brown. Stamens 6, more or less equal in length to tepals. Capsules < or > tepals, ovoid, shortly mucronate, light brown or red-brown.

Similar Taxa

Could be confused with J. pusillus Buch. which also grows on the Auckland Islands with J. scheuchzerioides. Juncus pusillus differs in terete rather than compressed leaves; flowers 1.5-3.0 mm rather than c.4 mm long; and leaves which are < rather than > 0.5 mm long. It is usually a dark brown or red-brown rather than pale green, red-green to to bright green colour.


December - April

Flower Colours



February - July

Propagation Technique

Not known from cultivation


A naturally uncommon species, common within its limited geographic range

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 31 May 2015