categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

SLENDER RUSH

Juncus tenuis

Rushes Family [Juncaceae]

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category
category8Grasses
 
status
statusZneophyte
 
flower
flower8green
 
flower
flower8brown
 
inner
inner8cream
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ6
(3 + 3)
type
typeZspiked
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8hollow
 

30th June 2016, near sand-heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Conforming to the specification in the books (for once) Slender Rush grows along tracks where it was possibly sown (here in a swathe to the left of the more worn footpath). It is an introduced species, or neophyte.


30th June 2016, near sand-heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Grows between 15 and 35cm high with very long bracts (those long spikes where at least one of which greatly exceeds the height of the inflorescence). The leaves, if you can find any in this photo, are all basal (with none peeling off the stem) and very thin (about 1mm wide)


30th June 2016, near sand-heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Inflorescence is in a rather loose cluster.


30th June 2016, near sand-heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Several bracts including a long one going over the top. Flower clusters sparsely populated and in separated groups.


30th June 2016, near sand-heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are greenish-yellow (or rather their 3 sepals and 3 petals are).


30th June 2016, near sand-heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Petals and sepals long and thin.


30th June 2016, near sand-heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


30th June 2016, near sand-heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Scrambling at ground level through the photos your Author thinks he has found (at least some) of the narrow leaves of Slender Rush. Just look at the narrowest leaves you can see, any others probably belong to other grasses. Those of Slender Rush are 1mm wide and all emanate from the base of the plants (there are no stem leaves).


30th June 2016, near sand-heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The leaf on the left going down the stem of one of the inflorescences is one of the leaves, several others can be espied in this photo (one on the right going straight up). There are but 1mm wide and all start not from the stem but at the bottom of it (i.e. there are basal leaves only)



IN FRUIT

31st Aug 2015, extinct railway line, Smardale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
And again here - it is growing along a track as per spec (in this case an dismantled railway track, now a footpath, although you wouldn't think so when you get within a kilometre of Kirkby Stephen!). A striking orange colour due to the many fruits which have developed.


31st Aug 2015, extinct railway line, Smardale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
But it is the bracts and petals/sepals which are orange. The fruit is greenish, and remains greenish, not turning brown.


31st Aug 2015, extinct railway line, Smardale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The fruits will be egg-shaped eventually. Here they still have the orange remains of the 3-pronged style attached. When the style detaches it will leave the fruit with a mucronate tip (finely pointed).


Easily mistaken for : other Rushes but see captions under the photos.

Not to be semantically confused with : Slender Club-rush (Isolepis cernua), Slender Spike-rush (Eleocharis uniglumis) nor with Slender Sedge (Carex lasiocarpa) [plants with similar names and perhaps similar personas but belonging to differing families]

No relation to : Flowering-Rush (Butomus umbellatus) [a plant with similar name and totally different character].

It is a neophyte, being non-native, thought to have come from North America. In the UK it is widely introduced but only locally common. It is found on acidic soils alongside tracks and other bare ground or on moist sandy soils.


  Juncus tenuis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Juncaceae  

Distribution
 family8Rushes family8Juncaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Juncus
Juncus
(Rushes)

SLENDER RUSH

Juncus tenuis

Rushes Family [Juncaceae]