Spiny rush Juncus acutus, copyright Esculapio.

Belongs within: Poales.
Contains: Luzula subgenus Gymnodes, Juncus section Genuini, Juncus section Graminifolii, 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. Juncus have glabrous leaves and produce many-seeded capsules whereas leaves are sparsely hairy and capsules are three-seeded in Luzula. Members of the southern circumpolar Rostkovia have two or more green leaves on each shoot and floral bracts are equal to or longer than tepals (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.

<==Juncaceae [Eujunceae]
    |  i. s.: Distichia Nees 1843D24
    |         PatosiaYY22
    |         Rostkovia Desv. 1808ME70
    |           |--*R. magellanica (Lam.) Hook. f. 1844 [=Juncus magellanicus Lam. 1789, R. sphaerocarpa Desv. 1808]ME70
    |           `--R. tristanensisME70
    |--Luzula DC. 1805 (nom. cons.)SB19, ME70
    |    |  i. s.: L. acuminata [incl. L. saltuensis]V72
    |    |         L. antarcticaD03
    |    |         L. chilensisB78
    |    |         L. comosa [incl. L. campestris var. columbiana, L. comosa var. macrantha, L. comosa var. subsessilis]H93
    |    |         L. confusaH44
    |    |         L. congesta (Thuillier) Lejeune 1811HE80 [=L. comosa var. congestaH93]
    |    |         L. decipiens Edgar 1975HE80
    |    |         L. divaricataH93
    |    |         L. flaccida (Buchenau) Edgar 1975HE80
    |    |         L. forsteriSB19
    |    |         L. glabrataC55b
    |    |         L. glomerataR13
    |    |         L. longifloraB78
    |    |         L. meridionalisGK00
    |    |         L. niveaC55b
    |    |         L. oliganthaO88
    |    |         L. oresteraH93
    |    |         L. parviflora [incl. L. parviflora var. fastigiata, L. parviflora var. melanocarpa]H93
    |    |         L. peruvianaB78
    |    |         L. pilosa [incl. L. vernalis]C55a
    |    |         L. spicata [incl. L. spicata var. nova, L. spicata var. saximontana]H93
    |    |         L. subcongestaH93
    |    `--L. subg. GymnodesME70
    `--+--+--Oxychloe bisexualisSB19
       |  `--Marsippospermum Desv. 1808SB19, ME70
       |       |--*M. grandiflorumME70
       |       `--M. gracile (Hook. f.) Buch. 1879 (see below for synonymy)ME70
       `--Juncus Linnaeus 1753SB19, ME70
            |  i. s.: J. allioidesO88
            |         J. alpinusV72
            |           |--J. a. var. alpinusV72
            |           `--J. a. var. rariflorusV72
            |         J. balticus [incl. J. balticus var. montanus]H93
            |           |--J. b. var. balticusV72
            |           `--J. b. var. littoralisV72
            |                |--J. b. var. l. f. littoralisV72
            |                `--J. b. var. l. f. dissitiflorusV72
            |         J. bhutanensisO88
            |         J. biflorusV72
            |         J. biglumisH44
            |         J. bolanderiH93
            |         J. brachycephalusV72
            |         J. brachyphyllusH93
            |         J. brachystigmaO88
            |         J. brevicaudatusV72
            |         J. breweri [incl. J. lesueurii var. tracyi]H93
            |         J. bryoidesH93
            |         J. capillarisH93
            |         J. cephalostigmaO88
            |         J. chlorocephalusH93
            |         J. concinnusO88
            |         J. confususH93
            |         J. cooperiH93
            |         J. covilleiH93
            |           |--J. c. var. covilleiH93
            |           `--J. c. var. obtusatusH93
            |         J. cyperoidesH93
            |         J. diffusissimusH93
            |         J. dioicus (n. d.)B78
            |         J. drummondiiH93
            |         J. dubiusH93
            |         J. dudleyiH93 [=J. tenuis var. dudleyiH93; incl. J. tenuis var. uniflorusV72]
            |         J. duranii [=J. mertensianus var. duranii]H93
            |         J. falcatus [incl. J. agrostophyllus, J. tasmanicus]B78
            |         J. filiformis Linnaeus 1753ME70
            |         J. foliosus [=J. bufonius var. fotiosus (Desf.) Coutinho 1890]FC97
            |         J. glaucusC06
            |         J. greeneiV72
            |         J. grisebachiiO88
            |         J. hemiendytusH93
            |           |--J. h. var. hemiendytusH93
            |           `--J. h. var. abjectusH93
            |         J. himalensisO88
            |         J. howelliiH93
            |         J. hybridus [incl. J. bufonius var. fasciculatus]FC97
            |         J. interiorV72
            |         J. kelloggiiH93
            |         J. kingiiO88
            |         J. kraussiiSM06
            |         J. leiospermusH93
            |           |--J. l. var. leiospermusH93
            |           `--J. l. var. ahartiiH93
            |         J. leseuriiS00
            |         J. leucanthusO88
            |         J. leucomelasO88
            |         J. longistylisH93
            |         J. luciensisH93
            |         J. macrandrusH93
            |         J. macrophyllusH93
            |         J. marginatusH93
            |         J. mertensianusH93
            |         J. mexicanusH93
            |         J. militarisV72
            |         J. minimusO88
            |         J. nevadensis (see below for synonymy)H93
            |         J. nodosusH93
            |         J. obtusiflorusC06
            |         J. occidentalis (see below for synonymy)H93
            |         J. orthophyllusH93
            |         J. oxymerisH93
            |         J. parryiH93
            |         J. patensH93
            |         J. pelocarpusV72
            |           |--J. p. f. pelocarpusV72
            |           `--J. p. f. submersusV72
            |         J. phaeocephalusH93
            |           |--J. p. var. phaeocephalusH93
            |           `--J. p. var. paniculatusH93
            |         J. plebeiusME70
            |         J. polyanthemus Buchen. 1895ME70, C06
            |         J. pseudocastaneusO88
            |         J. radulaGK00
            |         J. regeliiH93
            |         J. revolutusB78
            |         J. roemerianusE99
            |         J. rugulosusH93
            |         J. saximontanus [incl. J. saximontanus f. brunnescens]H93
            |         J. scirpoidesV72
            |         J. sikkimensisO88
            |           |--J. s. var. sikkimensisO88
            |           `--J. s. var. monocephalusO88
            |         J. sorrentinii [incl. J. bufonius var. condensatus Coutinho 1890]FC99
            |         J. sphacelatusO88
            |         J. stipulatusD03
            |         J. striatusB78
            |         J. stygiusV72
            |         J. subulatusBG96
            |         J. supiniformis [incl. J. oreganus]H93
            |         J. textilisH93
            |         J. thomsoniiO88
            |         J. tiehmiiH93
            |         J. torreyi [incl. J. torreyi f. longipes]V72
            |         J. triformis [incl. J. megaspermus]H93
            |         J. triglumisO88
            |         J. uncialisH93
            |         J. vaseyiV72
            |         J. xiphioidesH93
            |--J. sect. GenuiniHE80
            |--J. sect. GraminifoliiHE80
            |--J. sect. PoiophylliHE80
            |--J. sect. SeptatiHE80
            `--J. sect. ThalassiiHE80
                 |--J. acutus Linnaeus 1753HE80
                 |    |--J. a. ssp. acutusH93
                 |    `--J. a. ssp. leopoldii [incl. J. acutus var. sphaerocarpus]H93
                 `--J. maritimus de Lamarck 1789HE80
                      |--J. m. var. maritimusHE80
                      `--J. m. var. australiensis Buchenau 1890HE80

Juncus nevadensis [incl. J. phaeocephalus var. gracilis non J. effusus var. gracilis, J. mertensianus var. gracilis]H93

Juncus occidentalis [=J. tenuis var. occidentalis; incl. J. tenuis var. congestus non J. bufonius var. congestus]H93

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


[BG96] Baka, Z. A., & H. B. Gjaerum. 1996. Egyptian Uredinales. 1. Rusts on wild plants from the Nile Delta. Mycotaxon 60: 291–303.

[B78] Bentham, G. 1878. Flora Australiensis: A description of the plants of the Australian Territory vol. 7. Roxburghiaceae to Filices. L. Reeve & Co.: London.

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[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.

[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.

[FC99] Fernández Carvajal, M. C. 1999. Lectotipificación de un junco de Coutinho. Studia Botanica 18: 149–152.

[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.

[H44] Hammer, M. 1944. Studies on the oribatids and collemboles of Greenland. Meddelelser om Grønland 141 (3): 1–210.

[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).

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[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.

[R13] Reuter, O. M. 1913. Lebensgewohnheiten und Instinkte der Insekten bis zum Erwachen der sozialen Instinkte. R. Friedländer & Sohn: Berlin.

[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.

[SB19] Semmouri, I., K. Bauters, É. Léveillé-Bourret, J. R. Starr, P. Goetghebeur & I. Larridon. 2019. Phylogeny and systematics of Cyperaceae, the evolution and importance of embryo morphology. Botanical Review 85: 1–39.

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[V72] Voss, E. G. 1972. Michigan Flora. Part I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium.

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

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