Juncus usitatus    

Common Rush

The moist loamy-sands which fringe Wentworth Falls Lake provide ideal conditions for the growth of dense tufts of this perennial rush. Its upright, mid-green stems are a slender .5–2 mm wide, and extend some 60-100cm from underground rhizomes.

Inconspicuous leaves tip long open stem-clasping sheaths which colour downwards from yellow-brown to red-brown and glossy near the base. From late spring to summer, small but numerous straw-brown, wind-pollinated flowers line fragile spreading branchlets that extend for up to 6cm from the sheaths.

Tiny seeds develop in 1.5mm long, golden-brown, blunt elliptical capsules. Becoming sticky when wet, the seeds are spread by passing animals. This rush was probably one of the ‘grasses’ valued as fodder by early European travelers to this site.

Family: Juncaceae

Kids Activity Trail

  • Which is the tallest sculpture you can find in the park?
  • Did you know that this sculpture was the only one carved using only hand tools?
  • This plant provides sheltered habitat for water fringe animals including reptiles, frogs and birds. The seeds also make a crunchy meal for seed eating birds.

Image Credit: Nick Dӧrrer Juncus usitatus (Common Rush) 2000, carved sandstone, 190 x 140 x 90 cm, Wentworth Falls Lake Sculpture Project, Blue Mountains City Art Collection