Juncus effusus 

(jun-kuss' ef-fuu' suss)

Common name: Common Rush

Family: Juncaceae, Rush

Height x width: 18-48" x 12-24"

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: hollow, cylindrical, basal

Flowers: small, non-showy yellowish cymes in summer

Hardiness: zones 4-9 (less for cultivars as noted)

Soil: wet, pond edges in 3-5" of water, prefers acidic

Light: sun

Pests and Problems: none serious

Landscape habit, uses: watersides, water containers, bird cover by wateredges

Other interest: native to temperate regions; name from Latin iuncus for rush which is from iungere meaning to join, refering to its ancient use in tying; may be confused with the true Bulrush Scirpus (as supposedly cradled the infant Moses), with the main ornamental species tabernaemontani now placed in the genus Schoenoplectus, these genera similar in leaf but different in flower and less hardy than Juncus

Other culture: most species grow wild and are considered weeds this species and cultivars having some ornamental value; plant in submerged tubs to prevent invasive spread by rhizomes

Propagation: spring division


There are several other species of the genus that may be found less commonly, including:

glauca--Blue Rush, 1-2', similar to effusus but bluish foliage

macrophyllus--Flat-bladed Rush, 1-2', dark green stems with small clusters of pink and white flowers in spring


'Carmen's Japanese'--Green Rush, 2-3', bright green and narrow leaves

'Spiralis'--Corkscrew Rush, 1-2', stongly spiralling or corkscrew stems, used as accents in water features and cut in flower arranging, the most popular cultivar

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | HGPO course | PSS123 course