Weed Identification

Australia > > Spiny Rush

Spiny Rush

Juncus acutus

Alternative Name(s): Sharp Rush.

Family: Juncaceae.

Form: Water plant

Origin: Native of Europe, Africa and North America.

Flowers/Seedhead: Flowering stems (culms) 24 mm wide. Inflorescence 413 cm long, consisting of clusters of 16 flowers; 1 or 2 leaf-like bracts 425 cm long at base of inflorescence. Stamens 6. Flowers throughout year but mostly spring and summer.

Description: Shortly rhizomatous, tussocky perennial rush to 1.6 m high. Flowering stems and stem-like leaves arise from the base at varying angles giving the whole plant a characteristic globe shape. Fruit an ovoid 3-celled brown capsule. Seeds 1.22 mm long, brown.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by pith-filled stems and leaves; leaves similar to flower stems and other leaves forming a basal sheath (cataphyll) around the flower stem; leaves and bracts terminate in a stiff sharp point; capsules 46 mm long; seed with a tail at each end.

Dispersal: Spread by seed. Much of the spread appears to be by seedcontaminated mud attached to vehicles and animals.

Confused With: Juncus kraussii a native salt marsh species that has capsules 2.53 mm long and seeds 0.51 mm long.


Inflorescences & spine-tipped bracts, Kerang, Vic, Oct

Notes: Widespread in damp places and infrequently inundated watercourses on the coast and inland. The sharp spines, that project at many angles, make it especially dangerous for children.

References:

    Noxious Weeds of Australia.W. Parsons and E. Cuthbertson, 1992, pages 8184. Waterplants in Australia. G. Sainty and S. Jacobs, 4th edition, 2003, pages 168169.


Roots & base of plants

Capsules & tailed seeds

Mason Park Saltmarsh, NSW, Aug

This weed has been included in the WEEDeck field guide as card W22

More information about WEEDeck is available from Sainty & Associates Pty. Ltd.

 

Australia > > Spiny Rush

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