Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Canadian Rush - Juncus canadensis   J. Gay ex Laharpe
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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AuthorJ. Gay ex Laharpe
DistributionCoastal Plain, Sandhills, and northern Piedmont; rare in the Mountains.

Newf. to Ont. and MN, south to central FL, TN, and LA.
AbundanceFrequently encountered in the Coastal Plain and Sandhills, but rare to uncommon in the northern Piedmont and rare in the Mountains. The State Rank given by the NCNHP -- S3?, is very conservative, and should be about S4S5.
HabitatWet soils of beaver ponds and beaver marshes, oxbow ponds, freshwater marshes, fresh-tidal marshes, interdune marshes, maple-gum-cypress swamps, roadside ditches.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-October.
IdentificationCanadian Rush grows up to 3 feet tall (mostly 1.5-2.5 feet), with an open inflorescence of generally spherical heads. Each seed had a whitish "tail" at each end. J. brevicaudatus differs in its shorter "tails" and the fact that tepals are shorter than the mature capsule (vs. about the same). J. trigonocarpus has lustrous, reddish capsules (vs. dull brown) that are twice as long as the tepals (vs. about same length). J. brachycephalus is reported for NC, but no specimens have been confirmed; it differs in blunt to weakly acute tepals (vs. acuminate or acute tepals).
Taxonomic CommentsWeakley (2018) mentions that a number of forms and varieties of this species have been described, but states that "Further study is necessary to determine whether any of these taxa should be recognized."

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)Canada Rush
State RankS3? [S4S5]
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorrieSandhills Game Land, lake edge, late June 2015. RichmondPhoto_natural

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