Seeds of South Australia
Juncus usitatus (Juncaceae)
Common Rush
List of species for Juncus
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
January to March
Herbarium regions:
Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
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. Usitatus from Latin meaning ordinary, useful; possible referring to its widespread distribution in the eastern states.
Distribution:
Native to the Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria (and New Zealand and New Caledonia) and collected in the southern Mount Lofty, Murrayland and the upper South-east in South Australia, growing in riparian habitats, on stream banks and other moist places. Also introduced to Western Australia.
Status:
Introduced. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Densely tufted perennial sedge to 120 cm high with short rhizomes and terete culms to 2 mm diameter, soft, green, with an interrupted pith, stem striations 25-40. Inflorescence a loose lateral panicle to 7 cm long with straw-brown flowers. Flowering between November and February.
Fruit type:
Clusters of golden brown ellipsoid capsules with numerous seeds.
Seed type:
Tiny orange ovoid seed to 0.5 mm long and 0.2 mm wide, with fine reticulated surface.
Embryo type:
Broad.
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.