Common name: Cushion Rush
Juncus antarcticus Hook.f. APNI*
Description: Dwarf shortly rhizomatous, mat-forming, perennial. Culms terete, 0.5–6[-12] cm long, 0.2–0.7 mm diam.
Leaves basal with tubular sheaths that extend some distance up short culms, shorter than or equalling or rarely longer than culm; blade ± flat below to canaliculate or subterete towards apex, 0.2–0.5 mm wide; auricles absent; sheath pale brown.
Inflorescence terminal, head-like, c. 1 cm long, 2–10-flowered; involucral bracts 1 or 2, ± well-developed, 0.2–0.6 cm long, shorter than or equalling inflorescence. Tepals red-brown to very dark red-brown or straw-brown with red tinges, with margins narrow to broad hyaline; outer tepals (rarely 1.9-) 2.5–3.5 mm long, longer than or equalling inner tepals. Stamens 3, rarely 6, shorter than outer tepals; anthers 0.5–0.7 mm long.
Capsule shorter than or occasionally equalling outer tepals, narrow-ellipsoid, acute, apiculate, golden brown to very dark red-brown (usually darker near apex).
Distribution and occurrence: Grows in alpine and subalpine bogs and other wet sites, above 1500 m alt. in the Snowy Mtns.
NSW subdivisions: ST
Other Australian states: Vic. Tas.
Leaf sheaths are shortly tubular (as in Luzula) but are usually only intact in uppermost leaves – also seen in young plants of J. planifolius and other species of subgenus Graminifolii.
Text by K. L. Wilson, L. A. S. Johnson & P. Bankoff (1993); edited KL Wilson (July 2016, Nov 2022)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (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.