Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Pennsylvania Rush - Juncus gymnocarpus   Coville
Members of Juncaceae:
Members of Juncus with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 5 » Order Juncales » Family Juncaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
DistributionMountains only.

Mountains of PA; disjunct southward to the Mountains of NC-SC-GA-TN; Coastal Plain of northwestern FL, southern AL, and southern MS.
AbundanceUncommon to infrequent, though widely found across the province, recorded in nearly all Mountain counties. Can be numerous in the "gorges" region of Transylvania, Jackson, and Macon counties.
HabitatMontane seeps, bogs, streambanks below waterfalls.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-September.
IdentificationPennsylvania Rush looks like a slender version of Soft Rush (J. effusus). It is a clone-former from long, horizontal rhizomes, the stems moderately spaced and not crowded as in Soft Rush. Stems are slender, markedly so compared with Soft Rush. The tepals are much shorter than the mature capsule (vs. about the same). Capsules are ovate or elliptical in outline, versus rotund or globose in Leathery Rush (J. coriaceus).
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)Seep Rush, Coville's Rush, Naked-fruit Rush. Typically named as Seep Rush in NC, as that is its preferred habitat. However, nearly all websites and references choose Pennsylvania Rush as the common name, even though this state lies at the northern end of the range.
State RankS3
Global RankG4
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
USACE-empOBL link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.

View Mapping Selection Options
Select a source
Select an occurrence type