Plants of
South Australia
Juncus australis
Juncaceae
Austral Rush
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.

Etymology

Juncus from the Latin 'jungere' meaning to tie or bind; referring to the use of the rushes for weaving and basketry. Australis means of or from the south; referring to the distribution of the species in the southern hemisphere.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the South-east in South Australia, growing in wet or seasonally wet situations in grasslands and woodlands. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand. Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Southern Lofty, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Loosely tufted perennial rush growing from a shortly creeping rootstock, with cylindrical stem to 120 cm high and 4 mm diameter, dull green to dull blue-green, not easily compressed, pit interrupted with large air-spaces. Inflorescence in 1 to many sub-globular clusters with many pale brown flowers. Flowering in spring and summer. Fruits are clusters of golden brown ellipsoid capsules with numerous seeds. Seeds are tiny orange ellipsoid seed to 0.5 mm long and 0.2 mm wide, with fine reticulated surface. Seed embryo type is broad.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and March. Collect fruits either by picking off the mature heads, those turning brown and come-off easily or break-off the whole spikes. 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. From four collections, the seed viability were high, ranging from 95% to 100%.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA175,000 (2.26 g)5024-Nov-2007RJB75882
Southern Lofty
19-Sep-2008100%+5°C, -18°C
BGA116,000 (1.35 g)5012-Jan-2008RJB76884
Southern Lofty
19-Sep-2008100%+5°C, -18°C
BGA29,000 (0.46 g)20+1-Mar-2010KHB373
Southern Lofty
1-Jun-201095%+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.