Spiny rush Juncus acutus, copyright Esculapio.

Belongs within: Poales.
Contains: Luzula subgenus Gymnodes, Juncus section Genuini, Juncus section Poiophylli, Juncus section Septati.

The Juncaceae are a family of rushes, grass-like plants found mostly in damper habitats in temperate parts of the world (as well as tropical mountains). Flowers are solitary and relatively large (over five millimetres) in members of the genera Rostkovia and Marsippospermum, but usually clustered in cymes and smaller in species of Luzula and Juncus (Moore & Edgar 1970).

Characters (from Healy & Edgar 1980): Annual or perennial plants, tufted and grass-like, or with sympodial rhizome. Stems usually simple, erect. Leaves mostly clustered at base of stem, glabrous or sparsely hairy, sheathing at base, laminae flat and grass-like, or laterally compressed, or channelled, or terete like stems, or leaves reduced to basal sheaths only. Flowers bisexual, or rarely unisexual and plants dioecious, few to numerous in terminal monochasial cymes, occasionally condensed to a compact head, or flowers rarely solitary. Tepals 6, rarely 4, in two whorls, glumaceous, often with membranous margins. Stamens free, in two whorls of three, or with inner whorl missing, or variable 3-6, attached to base of tepals; filaments free, anthers two-celled, introrse, basifixed. Ovary superior, syncarpous, 1- or more or less completely 3-locular; style 1, short, stigmas 3, brush-like. Fruit a three-valved capsule opening loculicidally. Seeds 3 to numerous, often tailed at one or both ends, or tailless, sometimes mucilaginous.

    |--Distichia Nees 1843 D24
    |--Oxychloe YY22
    |--Patosia YY22
    |--Xerotes longifolia C08
    |--Rostkovia Desv. 1808 ME70
    |    |--*R. magellanica (Lam.) Hook. f. 1844 [=Juncus magellanicus Lam. 1789, R. sphaerocarpa Desv. 1808] ME70
    |    `--R. tristanensis ME70
    |--Marsippospermum Desv. 1808 ME70
    |    |--*M. grandiflorum ME70
    |    `--M. gracile (Hook. f.) Buch. 1879 (see below for synonymy) ME70
    |--Luzula DC. 1805 (nom. cons.) ME70
    |    |  i. s.: L. acuminata DS04
    |    |         L. antarctica D03
    |    |         L. congesta (Thuillier) Lejeune 1811 HE80
    |    |         L. decipiens Edgar 1975 HE80
    |    |         L. flaccida (Buchenau) Edgar 1975 HE80
    |    |         L. glabrata C55b
    |    |         L. meridionalis GK00
    |    |         L. nivea C55b
    |    |         L. oligantha O88
    |    |         L. pilosa [incl. L. vernalis] C55a
    |    `--L. subg. Gymnodes ME70
    `--Juncus Linnaeus 1753 ME70
         |  i. s.: J. allioides O88
         |         J. bhutanensis O88
         |         J. brachystigma O88
         |         J. cephalostigma O88
         |         J. concinnus O88
         |         J. filiformis linnaeus 1753 ME70
         |         J. glaucus C06
         |         J. grisebachii O88
         |         J. himalensis O88
         |         J. kingii O88
         |         J. kraussii SM06
         |         J. lamprocarpus CA27
         |         J. lesueurii D03
         |         J. leucanthus O88
         |         J. leucomelas O88
         |         J. minimus O88
         |         J. obtusiflorus C06
         |         J. plebeius ME70
         |         J. polyanthemus Buchen. 1895 ME70, C06
         |         J. pseudocastaneus O88
         |         J. radula GK00
         |         J. roemerianus E99
         |         J. sikkimensis O88
         |           |--J. s. var. sikkimensis O88
         |           `--J. s. var. monocephalus O88
         |         J. sphacelatus O88
         |         J. stipulatus D03
         |         J. thomsonii O88
         |         J. triglumis O88
         |         J. uniflorus O88
         |--J. sect. Genuini HE80
         |--J. sect. Graminifolii HE80
         |    |--J. antarcticus Hooker 1844 HE80 (see below for synonymy)
         |    |--J. caespiticus Meyer in Lehmann 1846 HE80 [incl. J. caespiticus var. bractatus Buchenau 1890 ME70]
         |    |--J. capitatus Weigel 1772 HE80
         |    |--J. cephalotes Thunb. 1794 ME70
         |    |--J. dregeanus Kunth 1841 HE80
         |    |--J. lomatophyllus Sprengel 1821 HE80
         |    `--J. planifolius Brown 1810 HE80 [incl. J. planifolius var. chathamensis Buch. 1890 ME70]
         |         |--J. p. var. planifolius D03
         |         `--J. p. var. demissus D03
         |--J. sect. Poiophylli HE80
         |--J. sect. Septati HE80
         `--J. sect. Thalassii HE80
              |--J. acutus Linnaeus 1753 HE80
              `--J. maritimus de Lamarck 1789 HE80
                   |--J. m. var. maritimus HE80
                   `--J. m. var. australiensis Buchenau 1890 HE80

Juncus antarcticus Hooker 1844 HE80 [incl. J. brevifolius Kirk 1882 non Liebm. 1850 ME70, J. pauciflorus Kirk 1877 non Brown 1810 ME70]

Marsippospermum gracile (Hook. f.) Buch. 1879 [=Rostkovia gracilis Hook. f. 1844; incl. Juncus hookeridis Steud. 1855, R. novae-zelandiae Buchan. 1872, Marsippospermum gracile var. novae-zelandiae (Buchan.) Buch. 1890] ME70

*Type species of generic name indicated


[C08] Cambage, R. H. 1908. Notes on the native flora of New South Wales. Part VI. Deepwater to Torrington and Emmaville. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 33 (1): 45–65, pls 1–2.

[C55a] Candolle, A. de. 1855a. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 1. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[C55b] Candolle, A. de. 1855b. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[CA27] Cockayne, L., & H. H. Allan. 1927. Notes on New Zealand floristic botany, including descriptions of new species, &c. (No. 5). Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 48–72.

[DS04] Davis, J. I., D. W. Stevenson, G. Petersen, O. Seberg, L. M. Campbell, J. V. Freudenstein, D. H. Goldman, C. R. Hardy, F. A. Michelangeli, M. P. Simmons, C. D. Specht, F. Vergara-Silva & M. Gandolfo. 2004. A phylogeny of the monocots, as inferred from rbcL and atpA sequence variation, and a comparison of methods for calculating jackknife and bootstrap values. Systematic Botany 29 (3): 467–510.

[D24] Dixon, H. N. 1924. The Student's Handbook of British Mosses 3rd ed. V. V. Sumfield: Eastbourne.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In: Scott, W. B. (ed.) Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896–1899 vol. 8. Botany pp. 1–34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[E99] Eriksson, O. E. (ed.) 1999. Notes on ascomycete systematics. Nos 2440–2755. Myconet 2: 1–41.

[GK00] Gibson, N., & G. J. Keighery. 2000. Flora and vegetation of the Byenup-Muir reserve system, south-west Western Australia. CALMScience 3 (3): 323–402.

[HE80] Healy, A. J., & E. Edgar. 1980. Flora of New Zealand vol. 3. Adventive cyperaceous, petalous and spathaceous monocotyledons. P. D. Hasselberg, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[ME70] Moore, L. B., & E. Edgar. 1970. Flora of New Zealand vol. 2. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Monocotyledones except Gramineae. A. R. Shearer, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[O88] Ohba, H. 1988. The alpine flora of the Nepal Himalayas: an introductory note. In: Ohba, H., & S. B. Malla (eds) The Himalayan Plants vol. 1. The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 19-46.

[SM06] Semeniuk, C. A., L. A. Milne, P. Ladd & V. Semeniuk. 2006. Pollen in the surface sediments of wetlands in the Becher Point area, southwestern Australia: a baseline for use in interpreting Holocene sequences. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 89 (1): 27–43.

[YY22] Yampolsky, C., & H. Yampolsky. 1922. Distribution of sex forms in the phanerogamic flora. Bibliotheca Genetica 3: 1–62.

Last updated: 14 December 2017.

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