Vascular – Exotic
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.
Sprawling leafy rush to 80 cm tall, leaves round with internal cross walls (feels like clicks if you hold base of leaf between finger and thumb and slide up), plant with branched flowerheads made up of many small clusters of 4 to 8 dark purple to black flowers/capsules (fruit).
Widespread and common throughout.
Margins of flowing and still water bodies, drains and wet pasture, sometimes submerged or floating.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Information derived from the revised national wetland plant list prepared to assist councils in delineating and monitoring wetlands (Clarkson et al., 2021 Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research Contract Report LC3975 for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council). The national plant list categorises plants by the extent to which they are found in wetlands and not ‘drylands’. The indicator status ratings are OBL (obligate wetland), FACW (facultative wetland), FAC (facultative), FACU (facultative upland), and UPL (obligate upland).
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Extremely variable perennial rush, 6-60 cm tall, dark green, usually reddish-tinged, loosely or densely tufted or forming open colonies. Stems round, rarely erect, usually flatter or prostrate and rooting at nodes, occ floating. Rhizomes usually short, occ long and forming mats. Leaves mostly along the stems, 5-20 cm long, round or compressed, with distinct hollow compartments separated by partitions (joints) usually visible externally and obvious to touch. Seedhead a loose panicle, terminal, 1-15 cm long, with many branches and clusters of small dark brown flowers. Seed capsules 2-4 mm long, triangular, glossy, dark brown to black.
Similar to other tubular septate leaved rushes, but is often sprawling or ascending rather than upright, with acute-tipped dark brown to black capsules longer than the tepals.
Seed dispersed by animals, water or contaminated machinery.
Eurasia, North Africa and North America
Reason for introduction
Unknown, seed or soil contaminant.
Rarely controlled, but can be controlled manually, mechanically or herbicidally depending on situation.
juncus: From the Latin jungere ‘to tie or bind’, the stems of some species being used to make cord (Johnson and Smith)
Notes on taxonomy
Subgenus Juncus, Section Ozophyllum (Septati) Kirschner (2002: Juncaceae 2)
Factsheet prepared by Paul Champion and Deborah Hofstra (NIWA).
References and further reading
Healy, A.J.; Edgar, E. (1980). Flora of New Zealand, Volume III. Adventive Cyperaceous, Petalous and Spathaceous Monocotyledons. Government Printer, Wellington. 220pp.
Johnson PN, Brooke PA (1989). Wetland plants in New Zealand. DSIR Field Guide, DSIR Publishing, Wellington. 319pp.
Johnson, A. T. and Smith, H. A (1986). Plant Names Simplified: Their pronunciation, derivation and meaning. Landsman Bookshop Ltd: Buckenhill, UK.
Champion et al (2012). Freshwater Pests of New Zealand. NIWA publication. http://www.niwa.co.nz/freshwater-and-estuaries/management-tools/identification-guides-and-fact-sheets/freshwater-pest-species
Kirschner, J. (compiler) (2002). Juncaceae 2: Juncus subg. Juncus, Species Plantarum: Flora of the World Part 7: 1-336.
Healy, A.J. (1982). Identification of weeds and clovers. New Zealand Weed and Pest Control Society Publication. Editorial Services Limited, Featherston. 299pp.