Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Juncus effusus
(common rush)

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Datasheet

Juncus effusus (common rush)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 19 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Juncus effusus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • common rush
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • J. effusus is a perennial in the rush family (Juncaceae). It is a wetland species with a broad, nearly global distribution. Across its broad range numerous morphological entities have been described at the subspecific or varietal level. T...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Juncus effusus (Soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); Juncus Bog, invasive habit, surrounding a boardwalk. Puu Kukui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionJuncus effusus (Soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); Juncus Bog, invasive habit, surrounding a boardwalk. Puu Kukui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 3.0
Juncus effusus (Soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); Juncus Bog, invasive habit, surrounding a boardwalk. Puu Kukui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
Invasive habitJuncus effusus (Soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); Juncus Bog, invasive habit, surrounding a boardwalk. Puu Kukui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 3.0
Juncus effusus (soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); habit. Puu Kukui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionJuncus effusus (soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); habit. Puu Kukui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 3.0
Juncus effusus (soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); habit. Puu Kukui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
HabitJuncus effusus (soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); habit. Puu Kukui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 3.0
Juncus effusus (Soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); plant base. Kipahulu Valley Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
TitlePlant base
CaptionJuncus effusus (Soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); plant base. Kipahulu Valley Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 3.0
Juncus effusus (Soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); plant base. Kipahulu Valley Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
Plant baseJuncus effusus (Soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); plant base. Kipahulu Valley Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 3.0
Juncus effusus (Soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); seedhead. Kipahulu Valley, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
TitleSeedhead
CaptionJuncus effusus (Soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); seedhead. Kipahulu Valley, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 3.0
Juncus effusus (Soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); seedhead. Kipahulu Valley, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.
SeedheadJuncus effusus (Soft rush, goza plant, Japanese mat rush, bog rush); seedhead. Kipahulu Valley, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2009.©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 3.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Juncus effusus

Preferred Common Name

  • common rush

Other Scientific Names

  • Juncus bogotensis Kunth
  • Juncus communis E. Mey
  • Juncus griscomii Fernald
  • Juncus laevis Wallr.
  • Juncus polyanthemus BUCHEN.

International Common Names

  • English: bog rush; Japanese mat rush; soft rush
  • Spanish: junco de esteras; junquera
  • French: jonc à lier; jonc diffus; jonc épars
  • Chinese: deng xin cao

Local Common Names

  • Colombia: junco; junco chiquito; totora; totorilla
  • Japan: igusa

EPPO code

  • IUNEF (Juncus effusus)

Summary of Invasiveness

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J. effusus is a perennial in the rush family (Juncaceae). It is a wetland species with a broad, nearly global distribution. Across its broad range numerous morphological entities have been described at the subspecific or varietal level. The species has been introduced to Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, several subspecies have been introduced outside of their native ranges and often occur sympatrically with J. effusus subspecies in their native ranges.

Where J. effusus is native it is a desirable species in natural wetland habitats, but can become weedy in wet agricultural areas. Where introduced it can displace native plants, alter habitat structure and outcompete rare plant species. In Hawaii, it competes with rare species, including three species listed as Endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It can often be a weed of agriculture, particularly displacing desirable forage species in livestock pastures. Introduced subspecies could hybridize with native subspecies where they occur together. 

Taxonomic Tree

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

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Juncus is a genus with a worldwide distribution, consisting of about 300 species (Brooks and Clemants, 2000). J. effusus was described by Linnaeus in 1753. The species has a wide global distribution and exhibits morphological variation across its range. Because of this variation the delineation of species limits and infraspecific taxa has been problematic and controversial. According to Zika (2003), “The Juncus effusus L. complex vexes systematists”.

The Juncus effusus complex consists of J. effusus and close relatives, particularly J. conglomeratus and J. pylaei, although many other species with narrow distributions have been described. Some authors break this complex up into more than one species, e.g. (Hämet-Ahti, 1980; Balslev, 1996; Kirschner, 2002; Weakley, 2016), or treat these taxa at the level of variety (Fernald and Wiegand, 1910). Many subspecies or varieties have also been described including subsp. solutus and others (Hämet-Ahti, 1980; Kirschner, 2002; Zika, 2003). In contrast, some treat it as a highly variable species, lumping all of the above taxa into the single variable species, J. effusus, such as Engelmann (1868), and recently Brooks and Clemants (2000).

Authors who treat the J. effusus complex as a group of 3 species, and with J. effusus consisting of several subspecies, e.g. Hämet-Ahti (1980) and Kirschner (2002), note that some of these taxa have become naturalized outside of their natural ranges. J. conglomeratus, native of the Old World, is naturalized in North America, New Zealand, and Venezuela. J. pylaei, native of northeastern North America, is naturalized in the northwestern USA. J. effusus subsp. effusus, native of the Old World, is naturalized in the Americas, eastern Asia, and Australia. J. effusus subsp. solutus, native to eastern North America, is naturalized in western North America. Complicating matters further, J. effusus forms hybrids with other species, including J. conglomeratus, J. inflexus and J. pallidus (Wilcox, 2010).

Some localized have been described as new species that were later considered introductions of J. effusus. For example, J. luxurians was described from New Zealand, but was later considered to be conspecific with J. effusus which is probably introduced (Edgar, 1964).

Description

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The following description has been adapted from Kirschner (2002).

J. effusus is a perennial plant, with culms to 1.5 m tall, densely caespitose with short rhizomes. Stem terete, without leaf blades, green, smooth to inconspicuously ridged; ridges 40-70, pith continuous, cataphylls 3(-4). Inflorescence pseudolateral (appearing lateral), diffuse or rarely dense, of 50-120 separate flowers. Lower bract usually several times longer than inflorescence, appearing as extension of culm. Tepals 1.5-3 mm long, outer ones longest, lanceolate, apiculate, green to light brown with scarious margin. Stamens 3 (-6); anthers 0.4-0.7 mm long, slightly shorter than filaments. Style very short; stigmas 0.6-1 mm long. Capsule (1.61) 2-2.5 mm long, subequal to or slightly exceeding perianth, subspheroid to ovoid, broadly ellipsoid or obovate, obtuse or slightly retuse, not or shortly mucronate, unilocular, triseptate, light brown. Seeds 0.5 × 0.2-0.3 mm, obliquely ovoid, reticulate, without appendages. 

Plant Type

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Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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J. effusus has a broad native range, occurring in Europe, western and central Asia, North America to South America, and the Caribbean (Brooks and Clemants, 2000; Kirschner, 2002; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2016; USDA-NRCS, 2016). Delineation of the native and introduced range of J. effusus is complicated by taxonomic problems in the J. effusus complex. For the purposes of this datasheet, the range is for J. effusus as delineated by Kirschner (2002), excluding segregate taxa such as J. conglomeratus and J. pylaei. Further complicating discussions of native and introduced ranges is the infraspecific taxonomy of the species. Different subspecies have been introduced within the ranges of other subspecies. Overall Kirschner (2002) stated that “it is almost impossible to distinguish primary and secondary occurrences”. Most floras treating J. effusus and allies do not present good data on ranges of native verses introduced subspecies.           

At the species level, J. effusus has been introduced to Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand. Various subspecies, particularly subsp. effusus and subsp. solutus have been introduced outside of their native ranges. J. effusus subsp. effusus is native to Europe, southwest Asia, and northern Africa. It has been introduced from North America to South America, eastern Asia, Australia, Mauritius, Madagascar, Argentina, and Chile. J. effusus subsp. solutus is native to eastern North America, with populations in the western USA probably representing introductions.

J. effusus subsp. laxus is native to Atlantic islands, sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar and nearby islands, and possibly Spain and Portugal. It has been introduced to the Cape Province of South Africa. J. effusus subsp. pacificus is native to western North America from Baha California to Alaska. J. effusus subsp. austrocalifornicus is native to southern California to northern Mexico. No introduced populations of these latter two subspecies have been reported (Kirschner, 2002). 

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.

Last updated: 17 Feb 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
BurundiPresentNativesubsp. laxus
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentNativesubsp. laxus
EthiopiaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
GabonPresentNative
KenyaPresentNativesubsp. laxus
MadagascarPresentNative
MauritiusPresentIntroducedsubsp. effusus
MoroccoPresentNativesubsp. effusus
RéunionPresentNativesubsp. laxus
RwandaPresentNativesubsp. laxus
Saint HelenaPresentIntroducedTristan de Cunha, St. Helena
South AfricaPresentNative
TanzaniaPresentNativesubsp. laxus
UgandaPresentNativesubsp. laxus
ZimbabwePresentNativesubsp. laxus

Asia

AfghanistanPresentNativesubsp. effusus
ArmeniaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
AzerbaijanPresentNativesubsp. effusus
BhutanPresentNative
ChinaPresentNative
-AnhuiPresentNative
-FujianPresentNative
-GansuPresentNative
-GuangdongPresentNative
-GuangxiPresentNative
-GuizhouPresentNative
-HebeiPresentNative
-HeilongjiangPresentNative
-HenanPresentNative
-HubeiPresentNative
-HunanPresentNative
-JiangsuPresentNative
-JiangxiPresentNative
-JilinPresentNative
-LiaoningPresentNative
-ShandongPresentNative
-SichuanPresentNative
-TibetPresentNative
-YunnanPresentNative
-ZhejiangPresentNative
GeorgiaPresentNative
Hong KongAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)Not listed by Bentham (1861), Corlett (1992) or others
IndiaPresentNative
-SikkimPresentNative
IndonesiaPresentNative
IranPresentNativesubsp. effusus
IraqPresentNativesubsp. effusus
JapanPresentNative
LaosPresentNative
MalaysiaPresent
NepalPresentNative
PhilippinesAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)Probably refers to J. decipiens subsp. medianus
South KoreaPresentNative
Sri LankaPresentNative
TaiwanPresentNative
ThailandPresentNative
TurkeyPresentNativesubsp. effusus
VietnamPresentNative

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
AustriaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
BelarusPresentNativesubsp. effusus
BelgiumPresentNative
BulgariaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
CyprusPresentNativesubsp. effusus
CzechoslovakiaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
DenmarkPresentNativesubsp. effusus
EstoniaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
Faroe IslandsPresentNativesubsp. effusus
FinlandPresentNativesubsp. effusus
FrancePresentNativesubsp. effusus
-CorsicaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
GermanyPresentNativesubsp. effusus
GreecePresentNativesubsp. effusus
HungaryPresentNativesubsp. effusus
IcelandPresentNativesubsp. effusus
IrelandPresentNativesubsp. effusus
ItalyPresentNativesubsp. effusus
LatviaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
LithuaniaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
NetherlandsPresentNativesubsp. effusus
North MacedoniaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
NorwayPresentNativesubsp. effusus
PolandPresentNativesubsp. effusus
PortugalPresentNative
-AzoresPresentNativesubsp. effusus
-MadeiraPresentNativesubsp. effusus
RomaniaPresentNativeInvasive
RussiaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
-Central RussiaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
-Eastern SiberiaPresentNative
-Northern RussiaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
-Russian Far EastPresentNativesubsp. effusus
-Southern RussiaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
-Western SiberiaPresentNativesubsp. effusus
Serbia and MontenegroPresentNativesubsp. effusus
SpainPresentNativesubsp. effusus, subsp. laxus
-Balearic IslandsPresentNative
-Canary IslandsPresentNativesubsp. effusus
Svalbard and Jan MayenPresentNativesubsp. effusus
SwitzerlandPresentNativesubsp. effusus
UkrainePresentNativesubsp. effusus
United KingdomPresentNativesubsp. effusus

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-British ColumbiaPresentNative
-ManitobaPresentNative
-New BrunswickPresentNative
-Newfoundland and LabradorPresentNativesubsp. effusus, subsp. solutus
-Nova ScotiaPresentNative
-OntarioPresentNative
-Prince Edward IslandPresentNativesubsp. effusus
-QuebecPresentNative
Costa RicaPresentNative
El SalvadorPresentNative
GuadeloupePresentNative
GuatemalaPresentNative
HaitiPresentNative
HondurasPresentNative
MexicoPresentNative
United StatesPresentIntroducedsubsp. effusus
-AlabamaPresentNative
-AlaskaPresentNative
-ArizonaPresentNative
-ArkansasPresentNative
-CaliforniaPresentNative
-ColoradoPresentNative
-ConnecticutPresentNative
-DelawarePresentNative
-District of ColumbiaPresentNative
-FloridaPresentNative
-GeorgiaPresentNative
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced1900Invasive
-IdahoPresentNative
-IllinoisPresentNative
-IndianaPresentNative
-IowaPresentNative
-KansasPresentNative
-KentuckyPresentNative
-LouisianaPresentNative
-MainePresentNative
-MarylandPresentNative
-MassachusettsPresentNative
-MichiganPresentNative
-MinnesotaPresentNative
-MississippiPresentNative
-MissouriPresentNative
-MontanaPresentNative
-NebraskaPresentNative
-NevadaPresentNative
-New HampshirePresentNative
-New JerseyPresentNative
-New MexicoPresentNative
-New YorkPresentNative
-North CarolinaPresentNative
-North DakotaPresentNative
-OhioPresentNative
-OklahomaPresentNative
-OregonPresentNative
-PennsylvaniaPresentNative
-Rhode IslandPresentNative
-South CarolinaPresentNative
-TennesseePresentNative
-TexasPresentNative
-VermontPresentNative
-VirginiaPresentNative
-WashingtonPresentNative
-West VirginiaPresentNative
-WisconsinPresentNative

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-New South WalesPresentIntroducedInvasive
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedInvasive
-South AustraliaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-TasmaniaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-VictoriaPresentIntroducedInvasivesubsp. effusus
New ZealandPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
Papua New GuineaAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)Specimens are of J. decipiens var. meadianus (Wilson, and Johnson, 2001)

South America

ArgentinaPresentNative
BoliviaPresentNative
BrazilPresentNative
-Minas GeraisPresentNative
-ParanaPresentNative
-Rio Grande do SulPresentNative
-Santa CatarinaPresentNative
-Sao PauloPresentNative
ChilePresentNative
ColombiaPresentNative
EcuadorPresentNative
PeruPresentNative
VenezuelaPresentNative

History of Introduction and Spread

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J. effusus was introduced to Australia by 1840 (AVH, 2016), New Zealand by 1871 (Esler and Astridge, 1987) and to Hawaii by 1900 (Wester, 1992). Wagner et al. (1999) states that the species has spread from cultivation in Hawaii.

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Australia by 1840 Yes No Kirschner (2002)
Hawaii by 1900 Yes No Wester (1992)
New Zealand by 1871 Yes No Esler and Astridge (1987)

Habitat

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J. effusus is an obligate wetland species. The species grows in a wide range of freshwater wetland habitats including marshes, swamps, wet pastures, and ditches, primarily where water stands for only part of the year (Adamson, 1935; Hämet-Ahti, 1980; Balslev, 1996; Weakley, 2016), and in treeless vegetation in the Australian alps (McDougall et al., 2005). It can grow to elevations of up to 2500 m (Brooks and Clemants, 2000).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Present, no further details
FreshwaterIrrigation channels Present, no further details
FreshwaterLakes Present, no further details
FreshwaterReservoirs Present, no further details
FreshwaterRivers / streams Present, no further details
FreshwaterPonds Present, no further details

Hosts/Species Affected

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In Europe J. effusus has been recorded as a weed of fodder plantings, pastures, cereals, and root crops (Weber and Gut, 2005). It is a weed of cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) production, invading fields and obstructing irrigation ditches (Ghantous and Sandler, 2015). It can colonize rice fields as soon as they are taken out of production (Elliott, 1821).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry)EricaceaeMain

    Biology and Ecology

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    Genetics

    J. effusus has a chromosome number of n=40, 42 (Balslev, 1996; Brooks and Clemants, 2000). No genetic analysis of J. effusus has been done on a regional or global basis.

    Reproductive Biology

    The species is self-compatible (Michalski and Durka, 2012).

    Physiology and Phenology

    It flowers from early summer through autumn (Álvarez, 1981; Brooks and Clemants, 2000; Weakley, 2016).

    Longevity

    J. effusus is a long-lived perennial (Brooks and Clemants, 2000).

    Climate

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    ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
    Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
    Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
    Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
    BS - Steppe climate Preferred > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
    BW - Desert climate Preferred < 430mm annual precipitation
    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
    Df - Continental climate, wet all year Preferred Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)

    Soil Tolerances

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    Soil drainage

    • free
    • impeded
    • seasonally waterlogged

    Soil reaction

    • acid
    • alkaline
    • neutral
    • very acid

    Soil texture

    • light
    • medium

    Means of Movement and Dispersal

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    Natural Dispersal

    According to Balslev (1996) swelling of the seed coat when wet causes the inflorescence to turn into heavy, slimy mass, causing the culms to bend to the ground, depositing seeds. The very small seeds have high potential for long-distance dispersal (Michalski and Durka, 2012).

    Accidental Introduction

    Despite the introduction of J. effusus to new geographic regions, there is little data on causes of introduction. Introductions were probably accidental. Wagner et al. (1999) states that the species has spread from cultivation in Hawaii.

    Pathway Causes

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    CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
    Disturbance Yes
    Hitchhiker Yes

    Pathway Vectors

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    VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
    Floating vegetation and debris Yes
    Land vehicles Yes
    Livestock Yes
    Soil, sand and gravel Yes
    Water Yes Yes

    Impact Summary

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    CategoryImpact
    Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
    Environment (generally) Positive and negative

    Economic Impact

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    In its native range and introduced range J. effusus is a weed of a variety of wet agricultural habitats, including wet pastures and wet agricultural habitats. In the USA it can invade cranberry production areas and impede drainage in adjacent ditches (Ghantous and Sandler, 2015). It can limit grazing for cattle in poorly drained pastures, which do not graze the species (Bakker et al., 1984; Rana and Sellers, 2009). In Europe it is a weed of fodder plantings, pastures, cereals, and root crops (Weber and Gut, 2005). 

    Environmental Impact

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    Impact on Habitats

    Because of its large stature J. effusus can displace other native species (Ervin and Wetzel, 2002), reducing species diversity. It is a troublesome weed in cutaway peatlands in Europe, outcompeting young conifers that have been planted in restoration programs (McCorry and Renou, 2003).  

    Impact on Biodiversity

    J. effusus competes with rare species in Hawaii, including three species listed as Endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These include Phyllostegia hispida in Molokai, Phyllostegia mannii in Molokai and Maui, and Sanicula purpurea in Maui (US Fish and Wildlife Service 2011a,b,c).

    Threatened Species

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    Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
    Phyllostegia hispida (hispid phyllostegia)USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - shading; Competition (unspecified)US Fish and Wildlife Service (2011a)
    Phyllostegia mannii (Mann's phyllostegia)NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiAllelopathic; Competition - shadingUS Fish and Wildlife Service (2011b)
    Sanicula purpurea (purpleflower blacksnakeroot)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - shading; Competition (unspecified)US Fish and Wildlife Service (2011c)

    Risk and Impact Factors

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    Invasiveness
    • Invasive in its native range
    • Proved invasive outside its native range
    • Has a broad native range
    • Abundant in its native range
    • Highly adaptable to different environments
    • Is a habitat generalist
    • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
    • Pioneering in disturbed areas
    • Tolerant of shade
    • Long lived
    • Has high reproductive potential
    • Gregarious
    • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
    • Reproduces asexually
    Impact outcomes
    • Altered trophic level
    • Changed gene pool/ selective loss of genotypes
    • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
    • Modification of successional patterns
    • Monoculture formation
    • Negatively impacts agriculture
    • Reduced native biodiversity
    • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
    • Threat to/ loss of native species
    Impact mechanisms
    • Allelopathic
    • Competition - monopolizing resources
    • Competition - shading
    • Competition (unspecified)
    Likelihood of entry/control
    • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
    • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
    • Difficult/costly to control

    Uses

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    Economic Value

    Human uses of J. effusus are currently limited. It has been used traditionally for weaving, including material for sleeping mats, chair seats, and baskets, and the pith serves as a wick for candles and lamps (Porcher, 1869; Balslev, 1996). In China the pith is used for drawing hot Camellia oleifera tea seed oil.

    Social Benefit

    In China, the outer epidermis is used as a wick for applying the oil to the body for relieving pain. The pith is also used as a tranquilizer and diuretic (Eisenberg et al., 2009).  

    Uses List

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    Environmental

    • Erosion control or dune stabilization
    • Land reclamation
    • Revegetation

    General

    • Botanical garden/zoo

    Materials

    • Baskets

    Medicinal, pharmaceutical

    • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
    • Traditional/folklore

    Ornamental

    • Potted plant

    Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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    If segregated as distinct species J. effusus can be difficult to distinguish from J. conglomeratus and J. pylaei. Both of these latter species have coarsely grooved, firm culms below the inflorescence with 10-20 ridges, perianth 2.7-3.6 mm long, and sepals that are longer than the capsule and petals. In contrast J. effusus has a soft, finely grooved culm with 25-30 striations, perianth 1.9-2.8 mm long, and sepals equalling the petals (Kirschner, 2002; Weakley, 2016). J. effusus is also similar to the closely related J. decipiens of eastern Asia. It is more slender than J. effusus, and culms have more densely packed pith (Wilson and Johnson, 2001).      

    Prevention and Control

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    Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

    Containment/Zoning

    Downey et al. (2010) assessed J. effusus as a low threat to New South Wales, Australia. 

    Control

    Physical/Mechanical Control

    Physical control of J. effusus is difficult. Repeated mowing has been used effectively in the UK. If mowing is conducted twice/year then biomass can be reduced by 98% (Rana and Sellers, 2009). DiTomaso and Kyser (2013) noted that while repeated mowing may be helpful, mowing more than once/year can often be difficult because of wet conditions. They also found that burning or grazing are not effective, and that hand pulling is not practical. Cultivation followed by reseeding may be effective (DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013). On former agricultural lands with high nutrient levels restoration probably requires topsoil removal, and liming may be of use (Smolders et al., 2008). Ghantous and Sandler (2015) has experimented with burning clumps of the species in cranberry production areas with some success, but on a small scale.

    Biological Control

    There is no biocontrol for J. effusus, and development of one is unlikely due to the threat to other Juncus species (Froude, 2002; DiTomaso and Kyser, 2013).

    Chemical Control

    DiTomaso and Kyser (2013) recommend that control of J. effusus can be achieved with herbicides. Formulations of 2,4-D applied in late spring, followed by elimination of grazing to allow reestablishment of native graminoids is recommended. Imazapic is also discussed as a control option with mixed success, although this herbicide is non selective and soil active. The use of 2,4-D is also recommended by Rana and Sellers (2009) for control in Florida pastures. Glyphosate gives good control and can be used with a weed wiper since the rush stands up well above the pasture.

    Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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    The taxonomy of the J. effusus complex is in serious need of revision (Brooks and Clemants, 2000). Additionally, the threat of hybridization of J. effusus and its subspecies with native taxa needs additional assessment.

    References

    Top of page

    Acevedo-Rodriguez, P, Strong, MT, 2015. Flora of the West Indies. Washington DC, USA: Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/antilles/WestIndies/index.htm

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    Downey PO, Scanlon TJ, Hosking JR, 2010. Prioritizing weed species based on their threat and ability to impact on biodiversity: a case study from New South Wales. Plant Protection Quarterly, 25(3):111-126.

    Edgar E, 1964. The leafless species of Juncus in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 2(2):177-204.

    Eisenberg A, Amato PJ, Tao D, 2009. Kam Guilzhouh nyim Guangxxih di Benxtux Wenchual nyim Zihyuanc dih Gonxliix: Kam Local Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Resource Management in Guizhou and Guangxi Provinces, China. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 7:67-113.

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    Lau A, Frohlich D, 2012. New plant records from O'ahu for 2009. Bishop Mus. Occas. Pap, 113:7-26.

    McCorry M, Renou F, 2003. Ecology and management of Juncus effusus (soft rush) on cutaway peatlands. Forest Ecosystem Research Group Report Number 69, 69. Dublin, Ireland: University College Dublin.

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    Missouri Botanical Garden, 2016. Tropicos database. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

    Olshansky IG, Fedoronchuk MN, 2011. Juncus L.(Juncaceae) in the flora of Ukraine, 68(5). 686-700.

    Pele G, Ardelean A, Turcus V, 2008. Note about the invasive plants in the Arad County (West Romania). Studia Universitatis Vasile Goldis Seria Stiintele Vietii (Life Sciences Series), 18:353-358.

    PIER, 2016. Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

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    Rana N, Sellers BA, 2009. Soft rush (Juncus effusus) control in Florida pastures. Weed Technology, 23(2):321-323. http://wssa.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1614%2FWT-08-159.1

    Rozefelds ACF, Cave L, Morris DI, Buchanan AM, 1999. The weed invasion in Tasmania since 1970. Australian Journal of Botany, 47(1):23-48.

    Smolders AJP, Lucassen ECHET, Aalst Mvan der, Lamers LPM, Roelofs JGM, 2008. Decreasing the abundance of Juncus effusus on former agricultural lands with noncalcareous sandy soils: possible effects of liming and soil removal. Restoration Ecology, 16(2):240-248. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/rec

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2011. In: Draft Recovery Plan for Phyllostegia hispida: Addendum to the Molokai Plant Cluster Recovery Plan. US Fish and Wildlife Service, 38 pp.

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2011. In: Phyllostegia mannii (no common name). 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation. US Fish and Wildlife Service, 14 pp.

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2011. In: Sanicula purpurea (no common name). 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation. US Fish and Wildlife Service, 16 pp.

    USDA-NRCS, 2016. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

    Wagner WL, Herbst DR, Sohmer SH, 1999. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i. Vols 1 and 2. Bishop Museum Special Publication 83. Honolulu, USA: University of Hawai'i and Bishop Museum Press.

    Weakley AS, 2016. Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Working draft of 2015. North Carolina, USA: University of North Carolina Herbarium.

    Weber E, Gut D, 2005. A survey of weeds that are increasingly spreading in Europe. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 25(1):109-121. http://www.edpsciences.org/agro/

    Weimarck H, 1946. Studies in Juncaceae: With Special Reference to the Species in Ethiopia and the Cape. Svensk Botanisk Tidskrift, 40(2):141-178.

    Wester L, 1992. Origin and Distribution of Adventive Alien Flowering Plants in Hawai'i. In: Alien plant invasions in native ecosystems of Hawai`i: management and research. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press, 99-154.

    Wilcox M, 2010. Hybrid rushes in the UK-sterility and fertility. BSBI News, 115:21-27.

    Wilson KL, Johnson LAS, 2001. The genus Juncus (Juncaceae) in Malesia and allied septate-leaved species in adjoining regions. Telopea, 9(2):357-397.

    Wu GF, Clemants SE, Wu ZY, Raven PH, 2000. Juncaceae. Flora of China, 24:44-69.

    Wysong M, Hughes G, Wood KR, 2007. New Hawaiian plant records for the island of Moloka i. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers, 96:1-8.

    Zika PF, 2003. The native subspecies of Juncus effusus (Juncaceae) in western North America. Brittonia, 55(2):150-156.

    Distribution References

    Acevedo-Rodriguez P, Strong MT, 2015. Flora of the West Indies., Washington DC, USA: Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/antilles/WestIndies/index.htm

    Âlvarez MDCFC, 1981. (Revisión del género" Juncus" L. en la Península Ibérica. II: subgéneros" Juncus" y" Genuini" Buchenau)., 38 (2) 417-467.

    AVH, 2016. Australia's Virtual Herbarium., http://avh.ala.org.au/

    Balslev H, 1996. Juncaceae. New York, USA: New York Botanical Garden. 167 pp.

    CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

    Downey P O, Scanlon T J, Hosking J R, 2010. Prioritizing weed species based on their threat and ability to impact on biodiversity: a case study from New South Wales. Plant Protection Quarterly. 25 (3), 111-126.

    Edgar E, 1964. The leafless species of Juncus in New Zealand. In: New Zealand Journal of Botany, 2 (2) 177-204.

    Esler A E, Astridge S J, 1987. The naturalisation of plants in urban Auckland, New Zealand. 2. Records of introduction and naturalisation. New Zealand Journal of Botany. 25 (4), 523-537.

    FOA, 2016. Flora Argentina. In: Flora Argentina, http://www.floraargentina.edu.ar/

    Heiss-Dunlop S, Fillery J, 2006. Vascular flora of Motuora Island, Hauraki Gulf. In: Auckland Botanical Society, 61 113-120.

    Howell C, 2008. DOC Research and Development Series, Wellington, New Zealand: Department of Conservation. 42 pp.

    Humbert H, Leroy JF, 1946. (Flore de Madagascar et des Comores)., Paris, France: Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle. 38-39.

    Jessop JP, 1989. A list of the vascular plants of South Australia (Edition III). In: Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Garden, 1-163.

    Kirschner J, 2002. Species plantarum: flora of the world. In: Juncaceae 3: Juncus subg. Agathryon. Flora of the World, Canberra, Australia: Australian Biological Resources Study, 192. 192 pp.

    Lau A, Frohlich D, 2012. New plant records from O'ahu for 2009. In: Bishop Mus. Occas. Pap, 113 7-26.

    Missouri Botanical Garden, 2016. Tropicos database., St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

    Olshansky IG, Fedoronchuk MN, 2011. Juncus L.(Juncaceae) in the flora of Ukraine., 68 (5) 686-700.

    Pele G, Ardelean A, Turcus V, 2008. Note about the invasive plants in the Arad County (West Romania). In: Studia Universitatis Vasile Goldis Seria Stiintele Vietii (Life Sciences Series), 18 353-358.

    PIER, 2016. Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk., Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

    Rozefelds A C F, Cave L, Morris D I, Buchanan A M, 1999. The weed invasion in Tasmania since 1970. Australian Journal of Botany. 47 (1), 23-48. DOI:10.1071/BT97054

    USDA-NRCS, 2016. The PLANTS Database. Greensboro, North Carolina, USA: National Plant Data Team. https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov

    Weimarck H, 1946. Studies in Juncaceae: With Special Reference to the Species in Ethiopia and the Cape. In: Svensk Botanisk Tidskrift, 40 (2) 141-178.

    Wester L, 1992. Origin and Distribution of Adventive Alien Flowering Plants in Hawai'i. In: Alien plant invasions in native ecosystems of Hawai`i: management and research, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press. 99-154.

    Wheeler A G Jr, 2017. Myodochine seed bugs (Hemiptera: Rhyparochromidae) from crowns of an African bunchgrass, Eragrostis curvula (Poaceae), native grasses, and other tussock-forming graminoids (Cyperaceae, Juncaceae) in the southern United States. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 119 (1), 130-141. DOI:10.4289/0013-8797.119.1.130

    Wheeler A G Jr, Hoebeke E R, Bartlett C R, 2016. Juncus effusus (Juncaceae) as a host plant of Nothodelphax occlusa (Van Duzee) (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea: Delphacidae) in the Pacific Northwest. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 118 (4), 629-635. http://www.bioone.org/loi/went

    Wu GF, Clemants SE, Wu ZY, Raven PH, 2000. Juncaceae. In: Flora of China, 24 44-69.

    Wysong M, Hughes G, Wood KR, 2007. New Hawaiian plant records for the island of Moloka i. In: Bishop Museum Occasional Papers, 96 1-8.

    Contributors

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    12/05/16 Original text by: 

    Keith Bradley, Consultant, South Carolina, USA

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