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Juncus tenuis

Juncus tenuis Willd.

Juncus macer Gray

Juncus tenuis Willd. var. multicornis E. Mey.

Juncus tenuis Willd. var. williamsii Fernald

Path Rush, Slender Rush, Field Rush, Poverty Rush, Wiregrass

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassCommelinidaeDayflowers and spiderworts, and several others
OrderJuncalesRushes, sedges, and other grasslike plants
FamilyJuncaceaeRush family
GenusJuncusPossibly from Latin jungere, “to join or bind,” because the stems were used for binding
Speciestenuis“Slender”

About plant names...

Path rush is native to and found throughout North America. It prefers full sun to light shade, and clay-loam or gravelly soils and a wide range of wetness.

Plants: Path rush, so-called because it is tough enough to grow right in the middle of trails, is easy to miss at first, looking like grass from a distance. But it is very common. Path rush is less than 12" (30 cm) high.

Leaves: Leaf blades are basal, and very thin, resembling pine needles, but up close they are narrow and flat, sometimes rolled slightly at the edges, resembling a slice of celery in cross-section. The blades are hairless, ~¹/₃₂" (0.5-1 mm) wide, and medium green in color, darkening later in the season.

Flowers: Tiny light greenish flowers consist of three petals and three sepals. They look nearly identical to each other, creating starlike flowers about ¼" (6.3 mm) around. Each petal and sepal is ¹/₁₆-³/₁₆" (3-5 mm) long. Flowers appear from April to May.

Fruits: Seed capsules are ovoid, about ¹/₁₆-³/₁₆" (3-5 mm) long and ¹/₁₆-⅛" (2-3 mm) around. The petals and sepals remain, now loosely wrapped around the capsule. Each capsule has three sections, a small point on top, and is filled with tiny seeds less than ¹/₃₂" (0.5 mm) long.

Online References:

Juncus tenuis at Illinois Wildflowers

Juncus tenuis on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Juncus tenuis at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Juncus tenuis on Wikimedia Commons

Juncus tenuis (Path Rush, Slender Rush, Field Rush, Poverty Rush, Wiregrass)

5/2/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 4½" (10 × 12 cm) ID is uncertain

Juncus tenuis (Path Rush, Slender Rush, Field Rush, Poverty Rush, Wiregrass)

6/26/2014 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 10" (16 × 25 cm)

Juncus tenuis (Path Rush, Slender Rush, Field Rush, Poverty Rush, Wiregrass)

7/28/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH
≈ 11 × 10" (28 × 25 cm)

Juncus tenuis (Path Rush, Slender Rush, Field Rush, Poverty Rush, Wiregrass)

About 1" high. · 9/5/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA ID is uncertain

Juncus tenuis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 14 Aug 2017.

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Juncus tenuis (Path Rush, Slender Rush, Field Rush, Poverty Rush, Wiregrass)

7/28/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH
≈ 6 × 8" (14 × 20 cm)

Juncus tenuis (Path Rush, Slender Rush, Field Rush, Poverty Rush, Wiregrass)

7/28/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH
≈ 5 × 6" (13 × 14 cm)

Juncus tenuis (Path Rush, Slender Rush, Field Rush, Poverty Rush, Wiregrass)

About 7 x 9". · 9/5/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA ID is uncertain

Juncus tenuis (Path Rush, Slender Rush, Field Rush, Poverty Rush, Wiregrass)

7/28/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH
≈ 6 × 4" (14 × 10 cm)

Juncus tenuis (Path Rush, Slender Rush, Field Rush, Poverty Rush, Wiregrass)

Not Bulbostylis capillaris. · 9/5/2010 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA ID is uncertain

Juncus tenuis (Path Rush, Slender Rush, Field Rush, Poverty Rush, Wiregrass)

8/13/2017 · Burges Pond, Westford, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (18 × 12 cm)

Juncus tenuis (Path Rush, Slender Rush, Field Rush, Poverty Rush, Wiregrass)

7/28/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Big Bear Mountain, Brookline, NH
≈ 6 × 8" (14 × 20 cm)

Range:

About this map...