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(Rush family)


• Medicinal / Folk-medicinal aspects: Isolated reports describe the use of members of this family in the treatment of unspecified skin diseases and for wound healing. •
• Adverse effects: At least one species is known to hyperaccumulate nickel from soils rich in this element, presenting a theoretical risk to nickel-sensitive individuals. The sharp spines of another species may cause mechanical injury. •
• Veterinary aspects: A spiny rush may cause mechanical injury to stock. •

Mabberley (1997) notes that the family comprises about 430 species in 7 genera, which occur in temperate and cold regions including mountains in tropical areas. The genus Juncus L. accounts for about 300 species, with Luzula DC. accounting for 115 species.

Although not of great horticultural importance, several species and cultivars of Juncus L. and Luzula DC. are grown as ornamentals (Hunt 1968/70).

Juncus acutus L.
(syns Juncus karelinii Steudel, Juncus multibracteatus Tineo, Juncus spinosus Forssk.)
Sharp Rush, Spiny Rush

The plant is widespread in damp places and infrequently inundated watercourses on the coast and inland [in Australia]. The leaves taper to a very sharp spine, emerging from the base of the plant at angles giving the plant a hemispherical shape. Once firmly established, it completely covers an area … [which] becomes impenetrable to stock and humans because of the sharp spines (Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]

Juncus effusus L.
(syns Juncus bogotensis Kunth, Juncus communis E.Mey., Juncus griscomii Fernald)
Common Rush, Soft Rush, Jonc Épars, Flatter Binse

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Luzula lutea DC.
(syns Juncus aureus Pourr., Juncus luteus All.)
Yellow Wood-Rush, Luzule Jaune, Gelbe Hainsimse

[Information available but not yet included in database]


  • Hunt P (Ed.) (1968/70) The Marshall Cavendish Encyclopedia of Gardening. London: Marshall Cavendish [WorldCat]
  • Mabberley DJ (1997) The Plant-Book. A portable dictionary of the vascular plants, 2nd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Parsons WT, Cuthbertson EG (2001) Noxious Weeds of Australia, 2nd edn. Collingwood, Vic.: CSIRO Publishing
  • [ + 6 further references not yet included in database]

Richard J. Schmidt [Valid HTML 4.01!]

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