Sward-forming perennial with or without very short rhizomes. Culms decumbent, new shoots arising from nodes, to c. 40 cm high. Leaves arising from nodes and creeping stems; blade hollow, with inconspicuous transverse septa, ± exceeding the culms, terete or slightly compressed, c. 0.5–1 mm wide, apex acute; auricles usually obtuse, up to c. 2.5 mm long. Inflorescence of 3–20 merging or discrete clusters, each composed of 5–30 flowers, to c. 10 mm wide when in fruit; primary bract shorter than the inflorescence; prophylls absent. Tepal midrib initially green, becoming strongly reddish-brown, margins pale; inner tepals 2.5–4 mm long, equal to or slightly longer than the outer, acute-acuminate; stamens 6, anthers 0.8–1.5 mm long. Capsules golden-brown to reddish-brown in the upper half, trigonous-ovoid, c. 3.5–5 mm long, exceeding the tepals, contracted rather abruptly to a beak 1–2 mm long; seeds 0.4–0.5 mm long, slightly asymmetrical, the surface with a fine reticulate pattern discernible at moderately high magnification, minutely apiculate at each end. Flowers and fruits recorded Jan.
*DunT, *VVP, *WaP, *Wim. Native to southern Europe, Turkey, northern Africa. Recorded from a few locations in the south-west of the state.
Possibly overlooked for the very similar and widespread Juncus articulatus from which it differs in having slightly longer, acute to acuminate inner tepals, which are usually slightly longer than the outer ones, slightly longer anthers and slightly longer capsules that have a distinct beak. Several subspecies of J. fontanesii are recognized overseas. Only slight morphological differences separate the subspecies which are apparently bridged by intermediates.
|Bioregion||Occurrence status||Establishment means|
|Victorian Volcanic Plain||present||introduced|