Juncus Effuses (Common rush or Soft rush)
Juncus effusus is an evergreen perennial plant with a striking vertical habit. It is highly ornamental with a fanning growth pattern and is often used in landscaping which includes sunny water gardens and freshwater wetlands.
Juncus effuses produces multiple culms (hollow stems) arranged in dense tufts that grow about 1 metre tall. These narrow, smooth stems are rounded with pointed tips and no obvious leaves. The lustrous green culms are strong but flexible making them perfect specimens to provide cover and nesting sites for wetland birds and other wildlife.
Summertime months bring on unobtrusive coppery clusters of small flowers which appear along the side of the culms. These florets are arranged in loose umbrella-like clusters and while they are not showy they do add interest to the plant.
This ornamental rush adapts to a wide variety of growing conditions and it performs well in a full sun or partial shade location. It can be planted in standing water to approximately a 10cm depth or in water saturated mulch like soils. It will however also adapt to normal garden soils with fluctuating water levels. For extra radiant specimens ensure that Juncus are planted in acid soil if possible. One can create this by using products that lower the PH of the soil. Cut back old foliage in early spring to encourage healthy growth.
In garden situations, where plants have not been planted in wetland areas, plants may need irrigation during extended dry periods. Juncus plants spread in the landscape by rhizomes and self-seeding.
Juncus effuses can also be grown indoors as a house plant or outdoors in containers that have a regular supply of water. They can be used along small streams or in water gardens and natural pools where their soft rush stems will be the perfect nesting place for water birds and insects. Juncus’ are also pest resistant and unpalatable to herbivores but attractive to general garden birds and butterflies. Many cultures around the world have used Juncus stems extensively; they have been documented as being used as candles, perfect as rope or to weave baskets and mats.
For more information on bringing Life to your Garden, visit your local Garden Centre.