Spreading rush

(Juncus patens)



Juncus patens is a species of rush, known by the common names spreading rush and California grey rush. It is native to the West Coast of the United States from Washington to California, and into Baja California, Mexico. It grows at seeps, springs, and riparian zones in stream beds and on river and pond banks, in marshes, and in other moist habitats. Juncus patens is a perennial herb forming narrow, erect bunches of stems. It grows up to 3 feet (0.91 m) in height by 1–2 feet (0.30–0.61 m) in width. It spreads by rhizomes, which can increase a colonies width substantially. The stems are thin, gray-green, often somewhat waxy, and grooved, and grow 30–90 centimetres (12–35 in) in height. The inflorescence sprouts from the side of the stem, rather than its tip. It holds many flowers, each of which has short, narrow, pointed tepals and six stamens. It flowers in the summer. The fruit is a spherical red or brown capsule which fills and bulges from the dried flower remnants when mature. The seeds attract birds. Juncus is a genus of monocotyledonous flowering plants, commonly known as rushes. It is the largest genus in the family Juncaceae, containing around 300 species. Rushes of the genus Juncus are herbaceous plants that superficially resemble grasses or sedges. They have historically received little attention from botanists; in his 1819 monograph, James Ebenezer Bicheno described the genus as "obscure and uninviting". The form of the flower differentiates rushes from grasses or sedges. The flowers of Juncus comprise five whorls of floral parts: three sepals, three petals (or, taken together, six tepals), two to six stamens (in two whorls) and a stigma with three lobes. The stems are round in cross-section, unlike those of sedges, which are typically somewhat triangular in cross-section. In Juncus section Juncotypus (formerly called Juncus subg. Genuini), which contains some of the most widespread and familiar species, the leaves are reduced to sheaths around the base of the stem and the bract subtending the inflorescence closely resembles a continuation of the stem, giving the appearance that the inflorescence is lateral.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
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