Juncus bufonius Linn., Sp.Pl. 328. 1753. Boiss., Fl. Or. 5:361. 1884; Hook. f., Fl. Brit.Ind. 6:392. 1894; Krecz. & Gontsch. in Kom., Fl. URSS. 3:517. 1935; Snog. in Rech. f., l.c. 16.
Annual, erect, ascending to spreading herb, (3-)5-30 (-50) cm long, fibrous rooted, slender, often gregarious and seemingly tufted or caespitose, usually with several basal leaves and one cauline leaf; stem branched, slender. Leaves usually 1-5 cm x 1-1.15 mm, setaceous or filiform, with a non-auricled broader sheathing base, deeply channeled. Inflorescence a much branched to subsimple panicle, often occupying greater part of the plant with distantly placed (2-) 3-5 (or more) flowers on each branch. Flowers (3-) 5-7.5 mm long, solitary or sometimes 2-3, seemingly together, sessile or subsessile, greenish to straw-coloured; perianth segments unequal, outer usually longer, lanceolate-acuminate, often pale green with hyaline margins, exceeding the oblong, blunt capsules. Stamens 6, up to 2 mm long with subequal anthers and filaments. Capsules (3-) 4-5 mm long, c. 2 mm broad, ovoid to oblong with rounded to obtuse apices, very minutely pointed at the apex, buff, yellowish to brownish; seeds ovoid-rounded to broadly ellipsoid, 0.3-0.5 mm long, c. 1.5 times as long as broad, usually reddish-brown, mucilaginous.
Type: Europe, Herb. Linn .no .449/24 (LINN).
A very widespread and variable species occuring in a wide range of damp habitats. Kreczetowicz & Gontscharov (in Kom, l.c.) have split it into 5 or 6 independent species, based on habit, flower size etc., but their status is uncertain. Some of these are reduced to synonym or recognized here as varieties of this species.