Juncus effusus

(Redirected from Soft-rush)

Juncus effusus is a perennial herbaceous flowering plant species in the rush family Juncaceae, with the common names common rush or soft rush. In North America, the common name soft rush also refers to Juncus interior.

Juncus effusus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Juncaceae
Genus: Juncus
Species:
J. effusus
Binomial name
Juncus effusus
Synonyms[1]
List
    • Juncus communis subsp. effusus (L.) Čelak.
    • Juncus communis proles effusus (L.) Rouy
    • Juncus communis var. effusus (L.) E.Mey.
    • Juncus conglomeratus var. effusus (L.) Kostel.
    • Juncus laevis Wallr.
    • Juncus laevis var. effusus (L.) Wallr.
    • Juncus effusus laxiflorusCout.
    • Juncus effusus var. oblongicarpus Vayr.

Distribution edit

Juncus effusus has a wide distribution, considered native in Europe, Asia, Africa, Madagascar, North America, and South America. It has naturalized in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and various oceanic islands.[1]

It grows in wet areas, such as wetlands, riparian areas, and marshes with sandy and peaty substrates. It is common throughout the British Isles by rivers, streams and lakes, in wet heathland and pastures,[2] including purple moor-grass and rush pastures and fen-meadow plant associations.[3]

Description edit

Juncus effusus grows in large clumps up to about 1.2 metres (3 ft 11 in) tall.[4]: 984  The stems are smooth cylinders with light pith filling. The yellowish inflorescence appears to emerge from one side of the stem about 20 centimetres (8 in) from the top. In fact the stem ends there; the top part is the bract, that continues with only a slight colour-band marking it from the stem. The lower leaves are reduced to a brown sheath at the bottom of the stem.

Subspecies edit

Five subspecies are currently recognized:[1]

  1. Juncus effusus subsp. austrocalifornicus Lintendemic to California and Baja California.[5][6][7]
  2. Juncus effusus subsp. effusus — widespread
  3. Juncus effusus subsp. laxus (Robyns & Tournay) Snogerup — tropical Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius, Canary Islands, Madeira.
  4. Juncus effusus subsp. pacificus (Fernald & Wiegand) Piper & Beattie — Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California, Baja California.[7][8][9]
  5. Juncus effusus subsp. solutus (Fernald & Wiegand) Hämet-Ahti — central and eastern United States.[10]

Juncus effusus can be differentiated from the rarer Juncus pylaei by the number of ridges on the stem. Juncus effusus has 30 to 40 ridges and J. pylaei has 10 to 20.[11]

Uses edit

Wildlife edit

 
Pupal cases of Coleophora caespitiella on J. effusus.

The species provides wildfowl, wader feeding, and nesting habitats, and also habitats for small mammals. The rootstalks are eaten by muskrats, and birds take shelter amongst the plant's stems. A number of invertebrates feed on soft rush, including the rufous minor moth.[12]

Humans edit

Juncus effusus is one of the seven ingredients of hui sup tea (去濕茶).[citation needed] In Japan, this rush is called igusa (藺草) and is grown to be woven into the covering of tatami mats (the filling is rice straw, extruded styrofoam, chip board, or some combination).[13] In Iran and Afghanistan too it is used to weave light cheap mats. It is called halfa (حلفا) and has medicinal uses too. In Europe, this rush was once used to make rushlights (by soaking the pith in grease), a cheap alternative to candles.

Cultivation edit

The species is cultivated as an ornamental plant, for planting in water gardens, native plant and wildlife gardens, and for larger designed natural landscaping and habitat restoration projects.

The cultivar Juncus effusus 'Spiralis' (syn. Juncus spiralis), with the common names corkscrew rush or spiral rush, is a distinctive potted and water garden plant due to its very curled spiral like foliage.[14]

Weed control edit

Juncus effusus can become a naturalized or invasive species, undesirable in rangelands for its unpalatability to livestock. Suggested methods of controlling rushes include: ploughing; high applications of inorganic fertilizer (can pollute watersheds); and topping to prevent seed formation.

Chemistry edit

Juncusol is a 9,10-dihydrophenanthrene found in J. effusus.[15][16] The plant also contains effusol[17] and dehydroeffusol.[18]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Juncus effusus L." Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  2. ^ P.A. Stroh, T. A. Humphrey, R.J. Burkmar, O.L. Pescott, D.B. Roy and K.J. Walker (ed.). "Juncus effusus L." BSBI Online Plant Atlas 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: editors list (link)
  3. ^ Conservation Land Management Magazine: "Cutting Rushes" article, Spring 2003, British Wildlife Publishing.
  4. ^ Stace, C. A. (2019). New Flora of the British Isles (Fourth ed.). Middlewood Green, Suffolk, U.K.: C & M Floristics. ISBN 978-1-5272-2630-2.
  5. ^ Calflora: Juncus effusus subsp. austrocalifornicus
  6. ^ Jepson eFlora: Juncus effusus subsp. austrocalifornicus
  7. ^ a b Peter F.Zika (2003). "The native subspecies of Juncus effusus (Juncaceae) in western North America". Brittonia. 55 (2): 150–156. doi:10.1663/0007-196X(2003)055[0150:TNSOJE]2.0.CO;2. JSTOR 3218455. S2CID 36919055.
  8. ^ Calflora: Juncus effusus subsp. pacificus
  9. ^ Jepson: Juncus effusus subsp. pacificus
  10. ^ USDA: Juncus effusus subsp. solutus
  11. ^ Morton, J.K.; Venn, Joan. M. (2000). "The Flora of Manitoulin Island". University of Waterloo Biology Series N. 40. 3rd. edition.
  12. ^ Niering, William A.; Olmstead, Nancy C. (1985) [1979]. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Knopf. p. 568. ISBN 0-394-50432-1.
  13. ^ "Structure of Tatami". Original Kyoto Tatami | Motoyama Tatami Shop | Original Kyoto Tatami Shop. Motoyama Tatami Shop. 2015-06-28. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  14. ^ Heritage Perennials: Juncus effusus spiralis
  15. ^ Bhattacharyya (1980). "Structure of effusol: A new phenolic constituent from Juncus effusus". Experientia. 36: 27–28. doi:10.1007/bf02003949. S2CID 41731083.
  16. ^ Shima, Katsuhito; Toyota, Masao; Asakawa, Yoshinori (1991). "Phenanthrene derivatives from the medullae of Juncus effusus". Phytochemistry. 30 (9): 3149. Bibcode:1991PChem..30.3149S. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)98276-1.
  17. ^ Carvalho, CF; Sargent, MV; Stanojevic, E (1984). "Phenanthrene synthesis: The synthesis of effusol a 9,10-Dihydrophenanthrene from the marsh grass Juncus effusus". Australian Journal of Chemistry. 37 (10): 2111. doi:10.1071/CH9842111.
  18. ^ Liao, You-Jiao; Zhai, Hai-Feng; Zhang, Bing; Duan, Tian-Xuan; Huang, Jian-Mei (2010). "Anxiolytic and Sedative Effects of Dehydroeffusol from Juncus effusus in Mice". Planta Medica. 77 (5): 416–20. doi:10.1055/s-0030-1250517. PMID 21104609. S2CID 260248394.

External links edit