Vascular – Exotic
Rushes & Allied Plants
Leafy rush to 74 cm tall, leaves broad (to 1.5 cm wide), flattened often with pink base, with young leafy shoots at the base attached to creeping stems, with branched flowerheads made up of 3 to 12 clusters of dark-brown to black flowers/capsules (fruit).
Widespread and locally abundant in northern Westland.
Wet pasture and a wide range of wet habitats.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Tufted, grass-like perennial, with leafy offsets. Stems 15-75 cm high, > leaves. Leaves 6-15 mm wide, flat, of thin texture, tapering gradually from the wide base to a small fine point, bluish-green, occasionally reddish-tinged near margins and tips; sheaths red. Inflorescence 10-26 cm long, open, with many spreading branches. Flowers in clusters of 3-12 at tips of branches, clusters ± 10 mm diam. Tepals 3.5-4.5 mm long, ± equal. Stamens 6. Capsules c. 3 mm long, < tepals, narrow, acute, dark brown.
No other grass-leaved rushes has such large and wide leaves, perhaps the native J. planifolius is the most similar, but lacks the stoloniforous sward-forming growth habit and has much smaller (< 2.5 mm) capsules and flower clusters.
Seed dispersed by animals, water or contaminated machinery.
Reason for introduction
Unknown, seed or soil contaminant.
Rarely controlled, but can be controlled manually, mechanically or herbicidally depending on situation, susceptible to grazing.
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 Graminifolii Kirschner (2002: Juncaceae 2)
Prepared by Paul Champion and Deborah Hofstra (NIWA). Features description from Healy and Edgar (1980).
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.