Plants of
South Australia
Juncus kraussii
Sea Rush
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 5

Prior names

Juncus maritimus var. australiensis


Juncus from the Latin 'jungere' meaning to tie or bind; referring to the use of the rushes for weaving and basketry. Kraussii named after Christian Ferdinand Friedrich von Krauss (1812-1980), a German zoologist, naturalist, museum keeper and collector in South Africa.

Distribution and status

Found on the eastern side in South Australia, growing in saline and brackish wetlands along the coast and in similar sites inland. Also found in all states (and New Zealand, southern Africa, South America). Native. Common in South Australia. rare in the Northern territory. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Tussock-forming, strongly rhizomatous perennial sedge to 1 m high, with a rigid, cylindrical culms to 4 mm diameter with a continuous pith. Leaves basal, terete, pungent, equalling culms, sheath golden brown. Inflorescence terminal diffuse spike to 20 cm long with clusters of straw-brown to red-brown flowers. Flowering between December to March. Fruits are clusters of red-brown or golden-brown, darker (often blackish) in the upper half, shining, ovoid to ellipsoid, capsule to 3 mm long. Seeds are tiny ellipsoid seed. Seed embryo type is broad.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and May. 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.