Common name: Toad Rush
Juncus bufonius L. APNI*
Synonyms: Juncus plebeius R.Br. APNI*
Description: Tufted annual. Culms terete, 2–20 cm long, 0.4–1.0 mm diam.
Leaves basal and cauline, shorter than culms; blade flat or slightly canaliculate, 0.2–1.2 mm wide; sheath pale yellow to occasionally red-brown.
Inflorescence terminal, diffuse, 2–20 cm long (often much longer than culm), 4–60-flowered; flowers solitary or clustered (2–4 per cluster) along branches; involucral bracts 2 (occasionally 1), 2.5–17 cm long, generally shorter than or equalling inflorescence. Tepals straw-brown, occasionally with red-brown bands beside midrib, with broad hyaline margins; outer tepals 4.0–8.0 mm long; much longer than inner. Stamens 3, rarely 4–6, shorter than outer tepals; anthers 0.5–1.0 mm long.
Capsule shorter than inner tepals, obovoid to narrow-ellipsoid, obtuse to acute, umbonate to slightly apiculate, straw-brown to dark red-brown.
Distribution and occurrence: A variable species, apparently a mix of naturalized and native forms, widespread. Cosmopolitan.
Mostly in seasonally wet, disturbed habitats.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP, SFWP, *LHI
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. W.A. S.A. N.T.
Plants often cleistogamous. Further study (particularly molecular analysis) is needed to disentangle the systematics of this species (or possibly several species). Similar range of variation exists in other parts of the world, but no satisfactory taxonomic classification has been reached yet.
Text by K. L. Wilson, L. A. S. Johnson & P. Bankoff (1993); edited KL Wilson (Sept 2009)
Taxon concept: K.L.Wilson & L.A.S.Johnson (1993)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.