Juncus acutus subsp. acutus

Sharp Rush

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Densely tufted perennial with very short rhizome. Culms erect, dark green, rigid, 30–150 cm high, each with c. 2–5 leaves and several mid to dark brown shining cataphylls toward base; pith dense, uninterrupted, permeated with vascular bundles (visible in transverse section). Leaf-blades pungent, terete, culm-like; pith similar to that of culms; auricles absent. Inflorescence usually dense, with several to many radiating major branches which are often obscured, flowers clustered toward the ends of the ultimate branchlets; primary bract erect and pungent, continuous with culm; prophylls absent. Tepals tinged reddish-brown in part, equal or subequal, 2.5–4 mm long, firm-textured for the greater part, the outer 3 mucronate, the inner 3 notched or truncate with wide membranous margins at the tip; stamens 6; anthers red, 1.4–2 mm long. Capsules usually golden-brown, darker in upper half, ovoid to ellipsoid, 4–6 mm long, with a rather conical apex contracting ± abruptly to a mucro, c. twice as long as tepals; valves thick-walled, the outer faces concave in the upper part; seeds 1.3–2 mm long, with 2 ± equal curved appendages, giving the seed a contorted appearance. Flowers throughout the year but mostly spring–summer, ripe fruit can be found virtually all year.

*CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HNF, *HSF, *LoM, *MuF, *MuM, *MSB, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *RobP, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, NT, SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Native to Europe, Africa, the Americas. A very serious environmental weed (and proclaimed noxious weed in Victoria), Juncus acutus has invaded mine dumps, coastal flats, irrigation areas, and other low-lying and often saline areas.

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 acutus subsp. acutus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Juncus acutus subsp. acutus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present naturalised
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Scroll Belt present naturalised
Robinvale Plains present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Greater Grampians present introduced
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present introduced
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised
Victorian Alps present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales