Juncus acutus

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Juncus acutus
Juncus acutus-Host.png
Spiny rush
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Juncaceae
Genus: Juncus
Species: J. acutus
Binomial name
Juncus acutus[1]

Juncus acutus or spiny rush, sharp rush or sharp-pointed rush is a flowering plant in the monocot family Juncaceae.

It grows in salt marshes[2] and on dunes[3] and is reliable for reducing erosion rates.[4] In some countries like Australia it is considered to be an invasive weed[5] and the spines harmful to young children.[6]


  • Juncus acutus ssp. leopoldii (Parl.) Snog. -- Leopold's Rush[7]
  • Juncus acutus L. var. sphaerocarpus Engelm.[8]
  • Juncus acutus L. subsp. acutus
  • Juncus spinosus Forssk.[9]
  • Juncus acutus ssp. leopoldii also known as Leopold's rush is a native of Arizona, California, Georgia and Nevada.[1][8]
  • Juncus acutus L. var. conglobatus Trautv.
  • Juncus acutus L. var. decompositus Guss.
  • Juncus acutus L. var. longibracteatus Buchenau[10]


Juncus acutus is a brown and green[11] "tussocky"[6] perennial that can be to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft)[11] tall in all kinds of soils,[12] in areas which go from extremes in flood and dry like dunes[3] or that just stay wet like lowland grassland and grassy woodland, riparian vegetation, freshwater wetland, and saline and subsaline wetlands.[13]

Stems and leaves
Pith filled stems and leaves arise from the base at different angles giving the plant a globe shape. The leaves form a basal sheath around the flower stem leaves and end with a stiff sharp point.[6]
The flower stems are 2 millimetres (0.079 in) to 4 millimetres (0.16 in) in diameter and 4 centimetres (1.6 in) to 13 centimetres (5.1 in) long and are similar to the leaves. They emerge from the base at all angles and each have 1 - 6 flowers. Each flower has 6 stamens and 4 centimetres (1.6 in) to 25 centimetres (9.8 in) long bracts that terminate in a stiff and sharp point.[6] The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by the wind.[12]
Fruits and reproduction
Fruits are oval 3-celled brown capsules 4 millimetres (0.16 in) to 6 millimetres (0.24 in). The 1.2 millimetres (0.047 in) to 2 millimetres (0.079 in) long brown seeds have a tail at each end.[6]
Short[6] and robust rhizomes.[11]
Juncus acutus


Found principally in low-lying damp, low fertility areas[13] like sandy sea shores and dune slacks and coastal flats,[13] occasionally in salt marshes[12] and disturbed saline areas, mine dumps, lowland grassland and grassy woodland, riparian vegetation, freshwater wetland, and saline and subsaline wetlands[13]

Northern Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Morocco
Western Asia: Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey
Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
Northern Europe: British Isles
Southeastern Europe: Albania, Crete, Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Montenegro, Sardinia, Serbia, Sicily, Malta
Southwestern Europe: Azores, Balearic Islands, Corsica, France, Portugal, Spain
Northern America: Baja California[1]

Community species[edit]

In Brazil, J. acutus has been observed on the Santa Catarina coast living in communities with:
In a natural shallow depression in the Murray River floodplain in South Australia:


The dimeric phenanthrenoid 8,8'-bidehydrojuncusol and the monomeric juncusol[14] and dehydrojuncusol can be isolated from J. acutus.[15]


  1. ^ a b c Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) (2004-09-08). "Taxon: Juncus acutus L.". Taxonomy for Plants. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  2. ^ Baba, A.; Howard, K.W.F.; Orhan, G. (2006). "Groundwater in Semi-Arid Mediterranean Areas". Groundwater and Ecosystems. Springer Science+Business Media. ISBN 1-4020-4736-3. 
  3. ^ a b c Schardosim, Alecsandro; Klein, Vanilde; Citadini-Zanette, Robson dos Santos (September 2007). "Florística e estrutura comunitária de restinga herbácea no município de Araranguá, Santa Catarina". Biotemas (in Portuguese). 20 (3): 15–26. – 1643. Retrieved 2015-06-07. 
  4. ^ De Baets, S.; Poesen, J.; Knapen, A.; Barberá, G.G.; Navarro, J.A. (2007). "Root characteristics of representative Mediterranean plant species and their erosion-reducing potential during concentrated runoff" (PDF). Geophysical Research Abstracts. European Geosciences Union. 9. ISSN 1607-7962. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  5. ^ Parsons, W. T.; Cuthbertson, E. G. (2001). "FAMILY Juncaceae". Noxious Weeds of Australia. CSIRO Publishing. pp. 712 pages. ISBN 0-643-06514-8. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Australia Spiny Rush". Weed Identification. Australian Weeds Committee, National Weeds Strategy. Archived from the original on 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 
  7. ^ "Juncus acutus ssp. leopoldii". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 25 April 2008. 
  8. ^ a b Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). "PLANTS Profile, Juncus acutus ssp. leopoldii". The PLANTS Database. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  9. ^ "Juncus acutus L. subsp. acutus record n° 41763". African Plants Database. South African National Biodiversity Institute, the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève and Tela Botanica. Retrieved 2008-04-25. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Juncus acutus L. record n° 160745". African Plants Database. South African National Biodiversity Institute, the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève and Tela Botanica. Retrieved 2008-04-25. [permanent dead link]
  11. ^ a b c Helen Coleman, FloraBase: Flora of Western Australia (2007-09-11). "Juncus acutus L.". Flora Descriptions. Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  12. ^ a b c "Juncus acutus". Species Database. Plants For A Future. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Spiny Rush (Juncus acutus) (Nox)". Victorian Resources Online. The State of Victoria, Department of Primary Industries. 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  14. ^ Fathi Abdelmohsen Abdelhalim Behery; Zain Elabdin Metwally Naeem; Galal Taha Maatooq; Mohamed Mahmoud Abdelfattah Amer; Zhi-Hong Wen; Jyh-Horng Sheu; Atallah Fouad Ahmed (2007). "Phenanthrenoids from Juncus acutus L., New Natural Lipopolysaccharide-Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibitors". Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 55 (8): 1264–1266. doi:10.1248/cpb.55.1264. 
  15. ^ Behery, FA; Naeem, ZE; Maatooq, GT; Amer, MM; Ahmed, AF (2013). "A novel antioxidant phenanthrenoid dimer from Juncus acutus L.". Nat Prod Res. 27 (2): 155–163. doi:10.1080/14786419.2012.662759. PMID 22360833. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Juncus acutus at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Juncus acutus at Wikispecies