Juncus pauciflorus Kirk; Juncus brevifolius Kirk
Vascular – Native
Rushes & Allied Plants
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
Current conservation status
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley.
2012 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Indigenous. North, South, Stewart, Chatham, Auckland and Campbell Islands. From the Central Volcanic Plateau south. Present in Australia.
A local species of wetlands, bogs mires and muddy ground. Primarily subalpine to alpine in the northern part of its range but descends to sea level around Otago, and on the Subantarctic Islands.
Bright green tufted perennial. Stems 20-120 mm long, 1 mm diameter at base, tapering above. Leaves numerous, all basal, equal to or < stems, bright green, 15-70 x 1 mm, lamina linear-subulate, solid, non-septate, canaliculate above, usually subterete to terete near the obtuse apex, otherwise flattened; sheath broad, without auricles. Inflorescence a single (rarely double), terminal 2-10-flowered, globose head, 3-10 mm wide, if double then the lower head is the smaller of the pair. Flowers c. 3mm long; tepals more or less equal, usually dark brown to almost black, very rarely light brown. Stamens 3(-6). Capsule almost equal to tepals, ovoid to oblong, black, lustrous, especially toward the acute apex, mucro short and blunt-ended.
Mostly montane to alpine on the main islands of New Zealand this species is not easily confused with other indigenous or exotic Juncus spp. The small stature, and usually single, globose flower head places this species close to J. dreganus Kunth, J. lomatophyllus Spreng., J. caespiticius E. Meyer and J. capitatus Weigel species from which it differs by the channelled leaves, except for J. caespiticius which is much larger and usually coastal and J. capitatus which differs by the usually reddish tepals 4-5 mm long, » capsules in length.
October - January
October - May
Mucilaginous seeds are dispersed by attachment, wind and water (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easy in a pot but prefers a damp soil and dislikes humidity.
juncus: From the Latin jungere ‘to tie or bind’, the stems of some species being used to make cord (Johnson and Smith)
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.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Juncus antarcticus Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/juncus-antarcticus/ (Date website was queried)