Juncus bulbosus L.

Bulbous Rush

Sp. Pl. 327 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Introduced

Tufted, sometimes shortly rhizomatous perennial, usually reddish tinged. Culms erect or decumbent, to 30 cm high, usually bulbous at base; proliferating shoots sometimes arising from nodes and/or inflorescence. Leaves mostly basal, 1–3 cauline leaves usually present; blade of basal leaves usually equal to or shorter than culms, 0.3–0.6 mm diam., with 2 or more obscure, transversely septate internal tubes; culm leaves unitubular, septate, ± compressed, to c. 1.5 mm wide; apex acute to obtuse; auricles obtuse to acute, to c. 2 mm long. Inflorescence of 3–22 clusters, each cluster composed of 2–10 (rarely to 15) flowers, c. 4–8 mm wide in fruit, flowers occasionally replaced by proliferating shoots; primary bract shorter than inflorescence; prophylls absent. Tepals curved, midrib ± reddish tinged when young, margins pale, membranous; outer tepals (2.8–)3–3.6(–4) mm long, acute; inner subequal to outer, acute or obtuse; stamens 3–6, anthers 0.3–1 mm long. Capsules light brown, ± darker in upper half, trigonous-ovoid, (2.4–)3–4 mm long, subequal to tepals, obtuse (rarely subacute) and shortly mucronate; seeds 0.4–0.6 mm long, slightly asymmetrical, finely reticulate-patterned discernible at moderately high magnification, minutely apiculate at each end. Flowers mostly Oct.–Dec., seeds shed mostly Dec.–Mar.

*Brid, *CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HNF, *HSF, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *Wim. Also naturalised in SA, NSW, Tas. Native to Europe and northern Africa. A fairly common weed of creeks, roadside drains, moist pastures and other soakage areas over a range of altitudes.

Old plants with withered basal leaves and long proliferating decumbent culms may resemble Juncus articulatus, but can readily be distinguished by the longer tepals (at least in Victorian material), and by the usually paler, less pointed capsules that at most only slightly exceed the tepals.

Source: Albrecht, D.E. (1994). Juncus. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-03-04
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Juncaceae
genus Juncus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Juncus bulbosus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Juncus bulbosus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present introduced
Glenelg Plain present introduced
Bridgewater present introduced
Victorian Volcanic Plain present introduced
Victorian Riverina present introduced
Gippsland Plain present introduced
Otway Plain present introduced
Warrnambool Plain present introduced
Goldfields present introduced
Central Victorian Uplands present introduced
Greater Grampians present introduced
Dundas Tablelands present introduced
Northern Inland Slopes present introduced
East Gippsland Lowlands present introduced
East Gippsland Uplands present introduced
Highlands-Southern Fall present introduced
Highlands-Northern Fall present introduced
Otway Ranges present introduced
Strzelecki Ranges present introduced
Victorian Alps present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales