categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

COMPACT RUSH

Juncus conglomeratus

Rushes Family [Juncaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

category
category8Grasses
 
status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8brown
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ6
(3+3)
type
typeZglobed
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8ribbed
 

5th Aug 2012, gravel quarries, Moses Gate, Farnworth. Photo: © RWD
A thunderous downpour preceded these photos, with your Author standing in what had become a primaeval swamp, complete with large stinging mosquitos. Not as tall as Soft Rush or Hard Rush with a compact mass of flowers 1/5th from the tapered tip.


5th Aug 2012, gravel quarries, Moses Gate, Farnworth. Photo: © RWD
Grows in tight clusters in damp acidic ground.


5th Aug 2012, gravel quarries, Moses Gate, Farnworth. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are browner than those of either Soft Rush or Hard Rush.


5th Aug 2012, gravel quarries, Moses Gate, Farnworth. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are compacted together in tight bunches, sometimes elongated.


5th Aug 2012, gravel quarries, Moses Gate, Farnworth. Photo: © RWD
Clusters often rounded into a globe. Fruits as long as the six brown forwardly-directed and pointed sepals.


5th Aug 2012, gravel quarries, Moses Gate, Farnworth. Photo: © RWD
Flowers emerge from the opposite side but wrap tightly around the stem almost completely. No flower-stalks visible. The single stem is more markedly ridged than either Soft Rush or Hard Rush.


5th Aug 2012, gravel quarries, Moses Gate, Farnworth. Photo: © RWD
Stem ridged/fluted.


5th Aug 2012, gravel quarries, Moses Gate, Farnworth. Photo: © RWD
The white matrix of pith within the (opened) stem. It is open-cellular and therefore porous with a slow and hysteretic resilience.


Hybridises with :

  • Soft Rush (Juncus effusus) to produce Juncus × kern-reichgeltii which is scattered across England but with a greater presence in South West Wales, which the Author can attest is very wet and boggy! Nay, it is rife with quagmires!
Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The tight compact and often globular cluster of browner flowers.

It avoids limy soils, preferring acidic soils and moist soils. It has conspicuously ridged stems, a compacted and usually globed cluster of brown flowers which are darker than those of Soft Rush or Hard Rush. It is not quite as common as either Soft Rush or Hard Rush especially since the turn of the last Century (AD 2000).

The dried white pith was also used to make 'rushlights', so-called because they were made from the pith of rushes which were extracted from the rush, soaked in fat or grease, and then lit. They were thus only as thick as the pith and were used in England by poor people to light their homes, people who were otherwise un-able to afford candles. Their use extended from the 1600's to the end of the 19th Century, with a brief revival during WWII. There were also rush-candles, where the rush pith was used as the wick in an ordinary candle, where it is surrounded by thick layers of tallow.


  Juncus conglomeratus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Juncaceae  

Distribution
 family8Rushes family8Juncaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Juncus
Juncus
(Rushes)

COMPACT RUSH

Juncus conglomeratus

Rushes Family [Juncaceae]