Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Tapertip Rush - Juncus acuminatus   Michaux
Members of Juncaceae:
Members of Juncus with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 5 » Order Juncales » Family Juncaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
DistributionThroughout the state; no doubt in every county.

N.S. to Ont. and MN, south to northern FL, TX, and northern Mex. Also Honduras; and B.C. to CA and AZ.
AbundanceCommon throughout; widespread and readily found.
HabitatA wide variety of wet soils: shores of ponds, impoundments, and streams; cypress-gum depressions and bays, beaver ponds, montane seepages, meadows, interdune marshes, fresh and fresh-tidal marshes, roadside ditches.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting May-August.
IdentificationTapertip Rush grows 1.5-2.5 feet. Heads are chestnut colored and occur on strongly ascending branches; thus the inflorescence, although open, is not very wide. Tepals taper to sharp points and are as long as the fruit. From other similar-looking rushes, Tapertip differs in having heads that are hemispherical (not round), seeds that lack obvious "tails" at each end, and capsules about equalling the fruit (vs. much longer). J. elliottii has dark brown or blackish tepals and at least some roots possess tubers (vs. none).
Taxonomic CommentsNone

NOTE on Juncus: These "grasslike" or "sedgelike" plants occur in most habitats, especially where moist or wet. They can immediately be told from grasses and sedges by the presence of 6 tepals (petal-like) that surround the fruit. These tepals can be thought of as analogous to sepals and petals of, say, lilies or trilliums. Most species have brown, chestnut, or reddish tepals and dark brown fruits. The flowers occur in few- to many-flowered heads. Leaves are nearly all basal and round in cross-section. Stems are unbranched, except for the inflorescence. Fruits are termed capsules and contain many tiny seeds.
Other Common Name(s)Sharp-fruited Rush, Tufted Rush
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
USACE-empOBL link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieMeadow near McLendon's Creek, Kelly Plantation Road, May 2015. MoorePhoto_natural
Select a source
Select an occurrence type