Soft Rush

picture of soft rushJuncus effusus var. effusus
Juncus effusus var. solutus

Additional species:
Juncus acuminatus (Taper-tip rush)
Juncus diffusissimus (Slimpod rush)

image of Juncus effusus (soft rush) flowers

Family:
Juncaceae

Lifecycle:
Perennial

Native or Introduced:
Native

Nutrient Removal Rating:
High

Wildlife Value:
High

Invasiveness
Medium

Rooted or Floating:
Rooted

Site Requirements:
Full sun

Maximum Water Depth:
3 inches

Plant Description:
Soft rushes are herbaceous perennials that grow to be 1-4 feet in height. They produce heavily branched rhizomes that aid in formation of large colonies. Culms measure approximately 1/8 inch at sheath tips.

Flowering occurs in summer with fruiting stretching into the late summer and fall. Plants are found in and along the edges of swamps, marshes, and shallow bodies of water. They can also live in any area with frequently moist soils.

The species Juncus effuses is quite complex taxonomically. Many varieties have been recognized within the species. Juncus effusus var. effusus is a shorter variety of the southeastern US while Juncus effusus var. solutus is taller.

Sources:

  • Flora of North America (see link below)

Additional reading:


Juncus acuminatus (Taper-tip rush) - closeup of infloresence (R) and habit (L).

image of Juncus acuminatusimage of Juncus acuminatus

Juncus diffusissimus (Slim-pod rush) - closeup of infloresence

image of Juncus diffusissimus