Juncaceae . . . . . Rushes


Choose leaf form:


But see also other possibilities for apparently tubular leaves/stems:


Juncus . . . . True Rushes

True rushes -choose from:-


See also round-stemmed Sedges:

Heads apparently clustered to side of stem - often compact:



More open panicles - near end of stem



Sprawling, or low or fine-leaved Rushes



Littorella, etc.
see also

Flowers in dense single heads (1st 3 are alpine spp.)



But see also:

Juncus . . . . True Rushes

Juncus acutiflorus . . . . Sharp-flowered Rush

Fruit with long tapered point; rounded, not flattened leaves; tepal tips sharp and recurved

Juncus acutus . . . . Sharp Rush

A very hard and sharp (beware!!) tip; very local on drier saltmarshes (CI to Norfolk)


Juncus articulatus . . . . Jointed Rush

Slightly flattened leaves with distinct transverse septa (felt if you pull a leaf between finger and thumb); outer tepals not curved outwards (recurved)


A similar plant of mountains, with rounded tepals in C & S Sc & N En is J. alpinoarticulatus

Juncus balticus . . . . Baltic Rush

Also has lateral flowers, c. 1/4 way down smooth stem with continuous pith; local on saltmarshes from Fife Northwards

Juncus biglumis . . . . Two-flowered Rush

Rare on mountain flushes in C Highlands to Hebrides; flowers one above other

Juncus bufonius . . . . Toad Rush

Often gives the impression of a pearlwort ( Sagina sp.)

Juncus bulbosus . . . . Bulbous Rush

Common in wet places, one form upright on land and one sprawling aquatic (Pic 4); often reddish

Note the bulbils among roots; commonly viviparous:

Juncus capitatus . . . . Dwarf Rush

V. small (<5cm) with compact terminal flowerhead; Very local in CI, Cornwall and Anglesea; the 2 r.h. pictures show it with J. bufonius


Juncus castaneus . . . . Chestnut Rush

Rare on mountain flushes in C & NW Highlands of Sc

Juncus conglomeratus . . . . Compact Rush

Very dense panicles; stem with about 40 ridges (esp. below flower); N.B. plants with smooth stems are likely to be J. effusus (var. subconglomeratus)

Juncus effusus . . . . Soft Rush

Smooth stems with continuous pith, fl heads can vary from dense (var. subconglomeratus) to spreading

N.B. the variety subconglomeratus has dense panicles and resembles J. conglomeratus but with smooth stems
Juncus gerardii . . . . Saltmarsh Rush

Leaves channeled on upper side; common around BI coasts


Juncus inflexus . . . . Hard Rush

Note ridged, rather thin, stems with <20 ridges; Loose inflorescence

Juncus maritimus . . . . Sea Rush


Juncus squarrosus . . . . Heath Rush

Common on moorland

Juncus subnodulosus . . . . Blunt-flowered Rush

Pale; Leaf flattened hollow with both longitudinal and many cross joints; locally frequent in marshes and duneslacks in En, Wa, Ire and uncommon in Jersey and S Sc

Juncus tenuis . . . . Slender Rush

Common on paths and tracks


Juncus trifidus . . . . Three-leaved Rush

On bare ground on Scottish mountain tops only:

Juncus triglumis . . . . Three-flowered Rush

Local on mountain tops only:


Luzula . . . Woodrushes

Flat grass-like leaves with fine hairs on edges

Select from the 8 spp. listed below:



Luzula campestris . . . . Field Woodrush

Note L. campestris has one sessile and 3 stalked heads, a very short bract below flower and tepals with blunt tips and bright yellow anthers >>filaments; c.f. L. multiflora (heath woodrush)

Luzula forsteri . . . . Southern Woodrush

Local CI and S En; like L. pilosa but individual fls 'raked forward' not out at all angles, lvs < c.4mm

Similar to Hairy Woodrush (L. pilosa):

Luzula luzuloides . . . . White Woodrush

An ornamental sometimes naturalised across Br; differs from L. nivea with fls not quite white and Tepals <3.5mm

See also the sp. below:

Luzula nivea . . . . Snow-white Woodrush

An ornamental sometimes naturalised across Br; differs from L. luzuloides with fls pure white and Tepals >3.5mm

Luzula multiflora . . . . Heath Woodrush

Has anthers = filaments, tepals with sharp tips and also bracts longer than flower head (c.f. L. campestris, above)

Luzula multiflora ssp. Congesta . . . . Heath Woodrush

Distinguished from L. campestris by bract longer than flower head

Luzula pilosa . . . . Hairy Woodrush

Lvs >4 mm wide; fl stalks in all directions


Similar to Southern Woodrush (L. forsteri):

Luzula spicata . . . . Spiked Woodrush

On Scottish mountain tops; characteristic nodding head

Luzula sylvatica . . . . . Great (or Wood) Woodrush

Much the largest woodrush, common in woodland across BI, exc. C & E En