Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Redpod Rush - Juncus trigonocarpus   Steudel
Members of Juncaceae:
Members of Juncus with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Juncales » Family Juncaceae
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AuthorSteudel
DistributionSpecimens collected (with images in SERNEC) from Beaufort, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, and Pender counties are misidentified. Specimens without images from Craven, Jones, New Hanover, and Robeson counties are not mapped until after specimens can be checked. As a result, the species is known for certain in NC only from the Sandhills region, where widespread, and an isolated record for Lincoln County in the Piedmont.

Coastal Plain, NC to northern FL and eastern TX.
AbundanceFrequent in the Sandhills in proper habitat. The NCNHP's State Rank of S1S2 is woefully conservative; it certainly should be ranked S3, at it is numerous in a rather small geographic area, but hardly in any peril in the state.
HabitatWet soil of blackwater streamheads and ecotones, sandhill seeps, beaver marshes. Usually in sphagnum moss.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-October.
IdentificationRedpod Rush typically grows 2-3 feet tall, with stiff stems and leaves. The inflorescence has stiffly ascending branches forming 2-3 layers, with small heads that contain 2-4 flowers each. The capsules are triangular in cross-section, taper-pointed, and a lustrous red-brown or red-purple color. Once learned, it is a very distinctive plant!
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)None
State RankS1S2 [S3]
Global RankG4G5
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