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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 22 | Juncaceae

1. Juncus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 325. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5; 152, 1754.

Rush, jonc [classical name for the genus]

Ralph E. Brooks*;Steven E. Clemants*; 

Herbs, perennial or rarely annual, rhizomatous or cespitose. Culms round or flattened in cross section. Cataphylls often present at culm base. Leaves: sheaths open; blade flat, channeled, ensiform or terete, sometimes septate, margins involute. Inflorescences terminal or pseudoaxillary, monochasia or dichasia, usually with monochasial branches, cymes or 1--many heads in racemes or panicles; bracteoles 2 or absent. Flowers: tepals (4--)6 in 2 whorls; stamens (2--)3--6. Capsules 1-locular or 3-locular, septicidal. Seeds many, ellipsoid to ovoid, sometimes tailed.

Species ca. 300 (95 in the flora): worldwide except Antarctica.


Engelmann, G. 1866--1868. Revision of the North American species of the genus Juncus, with a description of new or imperfectly known species. Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis. 2(2, 3): 424--498. Hermann, F. J. 1975. Manual of the Rushes (Juncus spp.) of the Rocky Mountains and Colorado Basin. Fort Collins, Colo. [U.S.D.A. Forest Serv. , Gen. Techn. Rep. RM-18.] *SEC authored Juncus Linnaeus subg. Ensifolia and subg. Septati. All other subgenera were written by REB.

1 Flowers borne singly; bracteoles present (except J. pelocarpus, J. subtilis).   (2)
+ Flowers in heads; bracteoles absent.   (4)
2 (1) Inflorescences appearing lateral, inflorescence bract terete, erect, appearing to be continuation of culm; basal leaves bladeless, cauline leaves absent   1a Juncus subg. Genuini
+ Inflorescences appearing terminal, inflorescence bract erect or ascending, flat, involute or terete; basal leaves (at least some) usually with blade, cauline leaves present or absent.   (3)
3 (2) Leaves terete, septate; capsules beaked   1g Juncus subg. Septati
+ Leaves flat, involute or terete, not septate; capsule rarely beaked   1b Juncus subg. Poiophylli
4 (1) Leaves flat or ensiform.   (5)
+ Leaves terete or compressed.   (6)
5 (4) Leaves ensiform, imperfectly septate   1d Juncus subg. Ensifolii
+ Leaves flat, not septate   1c Juncus subg. Graminifolii
6 (4) Capsules large; seeds large, long tailed; leaves not noticeably septate   1f Juncus subg. Alpini
+ Capsules smaller; seeds not tailed or if tailed not long; leaves septate or not.   (7)
7 (6) Leaves not septate; plants halophytic   1e Juncus subg. Juncus
+ Leaves septate; plants usually of fresh water habitats   1g Juncus subg. Septati

  • List of lower taxa


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