Description: Perennial or annual herbs, tufted or rhizomatous or stoloniferous. Culms usually simple, erect, glabrous.
Leaves mostly basal.
Inflorescence terminal, cymose, compound or decompound, branched, spreading, or occasionally reduced to a head, or rarely a solitary flower. Flowers bisexual, rarely unisexual and plants dioecious. Tepals 6, in 2 whorls, glume-like, often with membranous margins, the outer whorl ± keeled or cymbiform, the inner ± flat. Stamens 3–6, free; anthers 2-locular, introrse, basifixed. Ovary superior, 1- or 3-locular; style 1; stigmas 3.
Fruit a 3-valved capsule, opening loculicidally; seeds 3-numerous, may be tailed at one or both ends, sometimes mucilaginous.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 8 or 9 genera, c. 400 species, chiefly temperate regions, only at high altitude in tropics. Australia: 2 genera, 83 species, all States.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Juncaceae, Order: Poales)
Note: measurements of culm diameter and leaf breadth are made about halfway along the respective organ,as are assessment of pith and longitudinal striations in Juncus.
Text by K. L. Wilson and other contributors as listed under genus headings
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Capsule with many seeds; leaves flat, channelled, terete, or reduced to sheaths, never hairy on the margins; sheaths mostly open||Juncus|
|Capsule with 3 seeds; leaves flat or channelled, with margins hairy at least near the sheath-blade junction; sheaths closed||Luzula|