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Juncus acutus L.
Family Juncaceae
Common name: Sharp Rush

Juncus acutus L. APNI*

Description: Tussock-forming, shortly rhizomatous perennial. Culms terete, 30–160 cm long, 2.0–4.0 mm diam.

Leaves terete, basal, shorter than culms, pungent; auricles absent; sheath yellow-brown to golden brown, adaxially coppery.

Inflorescence terminal or pseudolateral, diffuse, 4–13 cm long; flowers clustered, 1–6 per cluster and 5–50 clusters per inflorescence; involucral bracts 1 or 2, well-developed, 4–25 cm long, shorter than to longer than inflorescence. Tepals straw-brown, often tinged darker chestnut-brown; outer tepals (rarely 2.0) 2.5–3.7 mm long, shorter than or equalling inner tepals, often with narrow whitish margin near apex; inner tepals with broad white margin near apex. Stamens 6, shorter than outer tepals; anthers 1.2–1.7 mm long.

Capsule much longer than outer tepals, ellipsoid to ovoid, acute to acuminate, apiculate, yellow-brown to chestnut-brown; seeds membranous-tailed.

Photo Karen L Wilson

Photo Karen L Wilson



Flowering: spring–summer.

Distribution and occurrence: Naturalized, scattered, recorded near Sydney, Kempsey and lower Hunter Valley, near Batemans Bay, Dubbo, Hillgrove, Yass, and along the Murray River valley. Also in all other States. Native of Eur., Medit., SW Asia.

a weed of damp areas in temperate regions.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWP, *SFWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *S.A. *N.T. *W.A.
AVH map***

A serious weed that should be eradicated before it becomes extensive and uncontrollable. Spiny Rush forms dense hemispherical tussocks. Its leaves and flower stems end in very sharp, hard points that can pierce the skin. It is a serious weed because of its abundant seed production and very pointed tips, which make control difficult. See Weeds in Australia website for more information:

Text by K. L. Wilson, L. A. S. Johnson & P. Bankoff (1993); edited KL Wilson (Nov 2012)
Taxon concept: LAS Johnson and KL Wilson 1993

N.S.W. occurrences are: subsp. acutus

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.
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