Seeds of South Australia
Juncus homalocaulis (Juncaceae)
Wiry Rush
List of species for Juncus
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
January to April
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Lucindale (NCP03)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii); D2)   (Probable Decline)   [likes red gums]
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [changed hydrology, weeds - threats]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [changed hydrology, weeds - threats]
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN A2a)   (Definite Decline)
Wimmera (MDD05)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [likes red gums]
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Juncus]
Name derivation:
Juncus from the Latin 'jungere' meaning to tie or bind; referring to the use of the rushes for weaving and basketry. Homalocaulis from the Greek 'homalos' meaning flat and 'caulis' meaning stem; referring to the compressed culms.
Found in the southern Flinders Ranges, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the South-east in South Australia, growing in damp sites in grassland, woodland and dry sclerophyll forests. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Uncommon in Queensland. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Small slender tufted with shortly rhizomatous perennial rush with erect stems to 15 cm high, terete to compressed, covered with the fibrous remains of old leaf-sheaths. Leaves mostly basal, filiform, solid, dorsi-ventrally flattened, channelled above, shorter or longer than the stems. Inflorescence terminal, in clusters or solitary with many straw-brown to red-brown flowers. Flowering between December and February.
Fruit type:
Clusters of light brown to reddish-brown ellipsoid capsules with numerous seeds.
Seed type:
Tiny deep red ovoid seed to 0.6 mm long and 0.4 mm wide, with deep reticulated surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect fruits either by picking off the mature heads, those turning brown and come-off easily or break-off the whole spikes.
Seed cleaning:
Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the heads with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Be careful, as the seeds are very small. Seeds are brown and hard. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.
Seed viability:
From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
85200 (3.23 g)
58100 (2.21 g)
1-Aug-2007100%+5°C, -18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.