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Datasheet

Juncus planifolius (broadleaf rush)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 11 June 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Juncus planifolius
  • Preferred Common Name
  • broadleaf rush
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • J. planifolius is a perennial rush plant, which grows exclusively in wetland habitats. It is native to the southern hemisphere but was introduced to the Northern Hemisphere as an ornamental plant. It was first...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Juncus planifolius (broadleaf rush); clump at Puu Kukui, Maui.  February, 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionJuncus planifolius (broadleaf rush); clump at Puu Kukui, Maui. February, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Juncus planifolius (broadleaf rush); clump at Puu Kukui, Maui.  February, 2009.
HabitJuncus planifolius (broadleaf rush); clump at Puu Kukui, Maui. February, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Juncus planifolius (broadleaf rush; many at Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui.  February, 2009.
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionJuncus planifolius (broadleaf rush; many at Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui. February, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Juncus planifolius (broadleaf rush; many at Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui.  February, 2009.
Invasive habitJuncus planifolius (broadleaf rush; many at Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui. February, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Juncus planifolius (broadleaf rush); habit at Kapunakea Preserve West Maui, Maui, Hawaii. February, 2009
TitleHabit
CaptionJuncus planifolius (broadleaf rush); habit at Kapunakea Preserve West Maui, Maui, Hawaii. February, 2009
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Juncus planifolius (broadleaf rush); habit at Kapunakea Preserve West Maui, Maui, Hawaii. February, 2009
HabitJuncus planifolius (broadleaf rush); habit at Kapunakea Preserve West Maui, Maui, Hawaii. February, 2009©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Juncus planifolius (broadleaf rush); seedheads at Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA.  February, 2009.
TitleSeedheads
CaptionJuncus planifolius (broadleaf rush); seedheads at Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Juncus planifolius (broadleaf rush); seedheads at Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA.  February, 2009.
SeedheadsJuncus planifolius (broadleaf rush); seedheads at Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Juncus planifolius R. Br.

Preferred Common Name

  • broadleaf rush

Other Scientific Names

  • Juncus demissus Steud
  • Juncus homalophyllus Steud
  • Juncus xantholepis Steud

International Common Names

  • English: broadleaf rush; broad-leaf rush; flat-leaved rush; grass-leaved rush
  • Spanish: junquillo; quira del cieno

Local Common Names

  • Chile: laflaf-cachu

Summary of Invasiveness

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J. planifolius is a perennial rush plant, which grows exclusively in wetland habitats. It is native to the southern hemisphere but was introduced to the Northern Hemisphere as an ornamental plant. It was first reported on Hawaii in 1930 (Wester, 1992) and was later introduced to Ireland in 1971 (Scannell, 1973, 1975). It has also been introduced to California and Oregon in the USA (USDA-NRCS, 2013).

In Hawaii, it has the potential to displace native species by preventing the establishment of seedlings (Loope et al., 1992). In this area its establishment depends directly on habitat disturbance by feral pigs (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1992). In its native range (New Zealand), occasionally it is found as a weed, blocking gutters and roadside drains (NZPCN, 2012). Its current distribution in the USA is low and its spread is limited (NatureServe, 2012). In Ireland, it is included on the amber list as a priority invasive species (ISI, 2012).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Cyperales
  •                         Family: Juncaceae
  •                             Genus: Juncus
  •                                 Species: Juncus planifolius

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The rush family, Juncaceae, is made up of 400 species in eight genera. The most well-known and largest genus is Juncus, to which belongs Juncus planifolius R. Br., commonly known as broadleaf rush (Kirschner et al., 2002). There are no recognized subspeciesbut five varieties are recorded; J. planifolius var. chathamensis, J. planifolius var. demissus, J. planifolius var. humilis, J. planifolius var. planifolius, J. planifoius var. tenellus (APC, 2012; The Plant List, 2013). The scientific and common names of J. planifolius refer to its flat-leaved nature.

Description

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Tufted or with short vertical rhizome, annual or perennial. Culms terete to somewhat compressed, (occasionally 5) 13-60 cm long, 1.0-2.0 mm (rarely to 3.0 mm) diameter. Stems 20-900 x 0.5-1.5 mm. Leaves all basal, up to 100 mm x 8 mm, usually less than stem, shorter than or occasionally equalling culms; blade flat, 1.5–11 mm wide; auricles absent; sheath pale brown, mostly pink-coloured. Inflorescence terminal, umbel-like and irregularly branched, 2–12 cm long; flowers numerous, 1.5-2.0 mm long, clustered at apex of branches, 5–30 per cluster and 3–20 (rarely to 70) clusters per inflorescence; involucral bract 1, well-developed, to 10 cm long, shorter than inflorescence. Tepals red-brown, mid-rib region often paler or occasionally tepals all straw-brown, with more or less narrow hyaline margins; outer tepals 1.8–2.5 mm long, shorter than or equalling inner tepals; inner tepals often thickened near apex. Stamens 3(-6), shorter than outer tepals; anthers 0.3–0.5 mm long. Capsule longer than or occasionally equalling outer tepals, ellipsoid to narrow-ellipsoid, obtuse to broad-acute, apiculate, golden brown to red-brown, ovoid , mucronate (Moore and Edgar, 1970; Wilson et al., 1993). Pollen grain is monocolpate, circular shape (40.6 mm) with psilate surface (APSA, 2007).

Plant Type

Top of page Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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J. planifolius has a disjunctive distribution in the southern hemisphere, being abundant in wet habitats. It is found in Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania) (Wilson et al., 1993), New Zealand (North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands) (NZPCN, 2012), southern Chile including the Juan Fernández archipelago (Marticorena and Quezada, 1985) and Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego in Argentina (Balslev, 1980; Zuloaga and Morrone, 1996).

The species is non-native to the northern hemisphere, and it has been recorded in the US states of Oregon (Balslev, 1980), California (Zika, 2009) and Hawaii (Lanai, Kauai, Oahu (incl. Mokolii Islet), Molokai, Maui and Hawaii islands) (Wagner et al. 1999). It has also been recorded on the west coast of Ireland (National Biodiversity Data Centre, 2012).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

North America

USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedZika, 2009
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced1930 Invasive Wagner et al., 2005Present on the majority of the Hawaiian islands
-OregonPresentIntroduced1969Balslev, 1980

South America

ArgentinaPresentNative Not invasive Balslev, 1980; Zuloaga and Morrone, 1996Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego
ChilePresentNative Not invasive Marticorena and Quezada, 1985Southern Chile including archipelago Juan Fernández

Europe

IrelandLocalisedIntroduced1971 Invasive National Biodiversity Data Centre, 2012Present on the west coast
UKLast reported2009Introduced2009BSBI, 2012Only recorded once on the outskirts of London

Oceania

AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-New South WalesPresentNative Not invasive Wilson et al., 1993
-QueenslandPresentNative Not invasive Wilson et al., 1993
-South AustraliaPresentNative Not invasive Wilson et al., 1993
-TasmaniaPresentNative Not invasive Wilson et al., 1993
-VictoriaPresentNative Not invasive Wilson et al., 1993
-Western AustraliaPresentNative Not invasive Wilson et al., 1993
New ZealandPresentNative Not invasive New Zealand Plant Conservation Network, NZPCNNorth, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands

History of Introduction and Spread

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It was first recorded in 1930 in Hawaii and later found on Molokai and Kauai in 1984 (Wester, 1992). It is now present on the majority of the Hawaiian Islands (Wagner et al., 2005). It was first recorded in Oregon (Coos County) in 1969 on disturbed habitat (Balsley, 1980) and was later reported elsewhere in the state in 1997 (Rice, 2012) so presumably the species spread from where it was initially introduced (NatureServe, 2012). It has recently been recorded in California (Zika, 2009). 

In Ireland (Connemara), it was first recorded in 1971 on the shore of a shallow acid lake in an area covered by peat (Scannell, 1973) and on the west coast of Ireland (County Galway) (Scannell, 1975). In 1988, it was recorded in the same area (Lockhart et al., 1989) and from there it spread to western Galway and Mayo counties with an extension of about 40 km² in 2010 (National Biodiversity Data Centre, 2012). One record was obtained in the UK in 2009, on the outskirts of London but no record of the species has been reported since (Holyoak, 2005; BSBI, 2012).

The principal pathway for its introduction into the northern hemisphere remains unknown. Therefore, its non-native status has been doubtful in the past (Scannell, 1973, 1975; Balslev, 1980; Webb, 1985). Balslev (1980) suggested long-distance dispersal by birds as a possible pathway for introduction to the northern hemisphere and human-caused habitat disturbance allowed the species to become established once there, but there is no recorded evidence to support these assertions.

Risk of Introduction

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J. planifolius could have been introduced intentionally as an ornamental in the northern hemisphere. The plant is available on the internet so the risk of introduction to new areas through this pathway is high. There is evidence that accidental introduction of this species as a contaminant of some commodities (timber, soil, etc.) was the principal pathway of its introduction in Ireland, where it is established but has scarcely spread beyond the region where it is present (Scannell and Jebb, 2000; Preston et al., 2002). In the USA, it could spread further west in Oregon and expand its range into northern California where the climate is similar to that in its current invaded habitat (NatureServe, 2012). In Hawaii, it is found only in disturbed areas; the removal of feral pigs would probably stem the spread of this species (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1992). J. planifolius failed the weed risk assessment for Ireland and Northern Ireland, so further introductions are therefore unlikely. It is included on the amber list in Ireland and this list has been used to inform the selection of species for the development of invasive species action plans for potential and established invasive species (ISI, 2012).

Habitat

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J. planifolius can be found from coastal to montane environments (up to 1000 m.a.s.l.) and is widespread in moist clay and sandy soils (Wilson et al., 1993; NZPCN, 2012). In Chile, it is located in swamp forests of coastal mountain ranges (San Martin et al., 1988).

In its native range in New Zealand, it is a common urban weed, often found along track sides or on the margins of drains and blocked gutters (NZPCN, 2012).

In its non-native range, it can be found in bogs, wet open depressions and open forest edges in Hawaii; habitat seepage sand in ditches at the top of ocean cliffs in Bandon, Oregon; sunny damp ditches and freshwater shorelines in California; and in Ireland, it is found on base-poor peat soil by streams, on lake-shores, in runnels through wet meadows and in semi-natural and artificial habitats (Scannell, 1973; Stokes et al., 2004; Zika, 2009). 

Overall it is found in disturbed habitats such as on bare cutaway peatlands (Scannell and Jebb, 2000) and on mineral soil in quarries and on tracks (Scannell, 1973); as in New Zealand (NZPCN, 2012), where it is found on disturbed ground on stream banks (Wright and Cameron, 1985). In Hawaii, it is well established in bogs (Balslev, 1980) and in other wet open areas that have been disturbed by non-native feral pig activity (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1992).

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial-managed
Disturbed areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Rail / roadsides Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Riverbanks Principal habitat Natural
Wetlands Principal habitat Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Reproductive Biology

Flowers of Juncus are hermaphroditic and slightly protogynous. In many Juncus species, all individuals show synchronous pulsed flowering, characterized as population-wide concerted flowering events separated by days with no or few open flowers. Synchrony varies among species and is independent from flowering variability. There is no clear evidence for flowering pulses (Michalski and Durka, 2007). The flowers in Juncus are wind pollinated or more rarely insect pollinated. The number of seeds produced by the plant is high, as is common in this genus. J. planifolius regenerates naturally from seeds. The seed mass is about 0.01 mg and seed can persist in the soil for at least two years (Moles et al., 2000). Seeds of Juncus sink in water and thus are quickly buried within sediments in low-gradient wetland ecosystems, where they establish persistent seed banks (Grime et al., 1990). Following disturbance, these seed banks can regenerate former Juncus populations (Ervin and Wetzel, 2000). J. planifolius can also be reproduced by vegetative fragmentation.

Physiology and Phenology

J. planifolius flowers from spring to summer in its native range and fruits from summer to autumn (Wilson et al., 1993; NZPCN, 2012). Sem and Enright (1995) found that the species germinated quickly following the first two weeks in a glasshouse germination experiment.

Associations

In Chile, it has been associated with floating benthic hydrophytes belonging to Callitriche stagnalis chilensis. This association can be found in the fresh and clear water of brooklets, brooks and small rivers in the Central valley and the Pacific littoral region of southern Chile. The dominant species are Callitriche stagnalis, Hydrocotyle ranunculoides, Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum and Mimulus luteus (Steubing, 1980); it is also found associated with Sphagnum magellanicum and Tetroncium magallanicum (Ramirez et al., 1985). In New Zealand, J. planifolius is associated with other rushes including J. articulatus, J. prismatocarpus and some sedges; Scirpus lacustris, Baumea rubiginosa, Eleocharis acuta and Typha orientalis in swamp habitat (Wright and Cameron, 1985). 

Environmental Requirements

In Australia, it can be found at a range of altitudes from 0 to 2000 m and can withstand a maximum average temperature of 6-19.5ºC and precipitation levels from 2307 to 4141 mm (Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2012). It grows in peat soils and is a facultative wetland plant so although it is usually a hydrophyte, it can occasionally be found in upland areas (USDA-NRCS, 2013).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
55-20 55-10

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 6 19.5

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall20374141mm; lower/upper limits

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • impeded
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid

Soil texture

  • heavy

Special soil tolerances

  • shallow

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Heterotolyposporium piluliforme Pathogen Inflorescence to genus New Zealand Plant Conservation Network, NZPCN

Notes on Natural Enemies

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The flower heads of J. planifolius in its native range are often infected by grey or bluish smut (Heterotolyposporium piluliforme) (NZPCN, 2012).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

There are no records of natural dispersal of J. planifolius but as with other species of Juncus, it may be dispersed by wind and probably also by floodwaters. Seeds of Juncus sink in water and thus are quickly buried within sediments in low-gradient wetland ecosystems, where they establish persistent seed banks (Grime et al., 1990).

Vector Transmission

Seed dispersal is by birds (NZPCN, 2012). Although no clear mechanism of dispersal has been reported in Hawaii (Medeiros, 2004), Loope et al. (1992) suggest that the seeds may be dispersed by animals, such as feral pigs.

Accidental Introduction

Generally, the principal pathway of introduction into the northern hemisphere remains largely unknown. This is still the case for Ireland (Stace, 1989; Coxon 2001; Wallentinus, 2002) but here it is likely that the species may have been introduced accidentally as a contaminant of some commodities (timber, soil etc.) (Wester, 1992). Scannell and Jebb (2000) noted that in Ireland (South Galway county), J. planifolius was found alongside another species which originated in the southern hemisphere: Haloragis micrantha (Lockhart et al., 1989). There was also an afforestation scheme carried out at the end of the 1800s, and a large range of non-native tree species were planted. Thus, the likelihood of accidental introduction of this species as contaminants is high.

Intentional Introduction

J. planifolius could have been introduced intentionally as an ornamental in the northern hemisphere, but no recorded evidence exists. The plant is not commercially available in New Zealand but in Australia it is used as a garden plant in moist areas and at the edges of water features and can be bought on the internet (NZPCN, 2012). Therefore, it is likely that future introductions of the species will be for use as an ornamental plant.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Disturbance Yes US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1992
Internet sales Yes
Ornamental purposes Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Host and vector organismsBirds Yes New Zealand Plant Conservation Network, NZPCN
Livestock Yes Loope et al., 1992
Water Yes
Wind Yes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Environment (generally) Negative

Economic Impact

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In its native range in New Zealand, it is a common urban weed, often found along track sides or on the margins of drains and blocked gutters (NZPCN, 2012). It therefore presents a cost for removal.

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Habitats

The upper-montane bog communities at elevations below 2000 m (hot moist lowland zone) are one of the most impacted habitats in Hawaii due to a high density of herbivores (domestic and feral ungulates) (Kitayama and Mueller-Dombois, 1995). This habitat is also invaded by sedges, grasses and rushes such as J. planifolius (Daehler, 2005). In Haleakala National Park (Hawaii), Medeiros et al. (1991) found J. planifolius to be amongst the more aggressive weeds invading the montane bogs.

Impact on Biodiversity

It has the potential to displace natives by preventing the establishment of native seedlings (Loope et al., 1992) such as Phyllostegia warshaueri and Keysseria erici, both listed on the US Endangered Species Act (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1992).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Keysseria ericiNational list(s) National list(s)HawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resourcesUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 1992
Phyllostegia warshaueri (Laupahoehoe phyllostegia)NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resourcesUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 1992; US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1998a
Dubautia waialealae (Waialeale dubautia)NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shadingNatureServe, 2010
Geranium kauaiense (Kauai geranium)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Ecosystem change / habitat alterationUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010b
Keysseria helenae (Mt. Waialeale island-daisy)NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Ecosystem change / habitat alterationNatureServe, 2010
Labordia pumila (kamakahala)USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resourcesNatureServe, 2010
Phyllostegia renovans (red-leaf phyllostegia)NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shading; Competition - smotheringUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010a
Platydesma rostrataCR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - smotheringUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010a
Pritchardia hardyi (Makaleha pritchardia)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - stranglingUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010b
Pritchardia viscosa (stickybud pritchardia)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - stranglingUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 1998b; US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010b
Psychotria grandiflora (large-flowered balsamo)EN (IUCN red list: Endangered) EN (IUCN red list: Endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - stranglingUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010a
Sanicula purpurea (purpleflower blacksnakeroot)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition (unspecified)US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2011
Sicyos albus (white burr cucumber)USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resourcesUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 1996
Stenogyne purpurea (purplefruit stenogyne)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - stranglingUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010b
Viola helenae (Wahiawa stream violet)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition (unspecified); Ecosystem change / habitat alterationUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2008
Viola kauaensis var. wahiawaensisUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition (unspecified); Ecosystem change / habitat alterationUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2009

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Competition - strangling
  • Competition
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally illegally

Uses

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Economic Value

J. planifolius is used as an ornamental plant in the Northern Hemisphere and is available for sale on the internet.

Uses List

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Ornamental

  • garden plant

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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J. planifolius is easily recognised by its usually many-flowered, umbel-like inflorescence and flat leaves; flower clusters up to 5 mm diameter and 2 mm long capsules. In a sterile state it could be mistaken for Luzula (wood rushes) but the leaves lack the characteristic sparse to densely villous margins typical of that genus. J. planifolius has some similarity to Juncus caespiticius, with which it occasionally grows. However, J. planifolius differs by its flat leaves, which are not channelled, and its open umbellate rather than compact globose inflorescence (NZPCN, 2012).

Prevention and Control

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Prevention

In Ireland, its introduction and dispersal is prohibited, as is the possession of individual plants (ISI, 2012).

Containment/Zoning

At Haleakala National Park in Hawaii, controlling the movement of feral goats and pigs by fencing the perimeter of bogs has been a very important step towards controlling the establishment and spread of alien plants, including J. planifolius; more details can be found in Loope et al., (1992). The exclusion of feral pigs is expected to slow the invasion and allow native vegetation to recover, at least partially (Medeiros et al. 1991).

Chemical Control

No information is available on chemical control methods attempted for this species. However, other Juncus spp. infesting pastures in New Zealand have been treated with 2, 4-D after mowing (Thompson, 1963).

Physical Control

Although little information is currently available for the physical control of J. planifolius, other species within the genus have been controlled by mowing or using a mattock to dig up individual plants. Physical removal of small populations may prove effective but prove costly and inefficient for larger infestations of Juncus spp. (Bettink, 2006).    

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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Further research is needed to identify the pathways of introduction in its non-native range (Scannell and Jebb, 2000).

References

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APC, 2012. Australian Plant Census (APC). Canberra, Australia: Integrated Botanical Information System (IBIS) and ANBG-CPBR. http://www.chah.gov.au/apc/index.html

APSA, 2007. The Australasian Pollen and Spore Atlas V1. Canberra, Australia: Australian National University. http://apsa.anu.edu.au/

Balslev H, 1980. Juncus planifolius (Juncaceae) in North America. Brittonia, 32(1):51-54.

Bettink K, 2006. Managing weeds in bushland: Sharp rush Juncus acutus. Greenwood, Western Australia: Environmental Weeds Action Network.

BSBI, 2012. BSBI Maps Scheme: Hectad Maps. Bristol, UK: Botanical Society of the British Isles. http://www.bsbimaps.org.uk/atlas/main.php

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2012. Australia's Virtual Herbarium. http://avh.ala.org.au/

Coxon P, 2001. Western Connemara (field guide). Dublin, Ireland: Irish Quaternary Association, 26 pp. http://www.iqua.ie/Documents/pdfs/IQUA%20Guide%20C%20-%202001.pdf

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