Common rush

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Juncus effusus L.

Common name(s): common rush, soft rush, common soft rush

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– perennial

– reproduces by seed

-Flowers July to September.

-Stands l foot to 2 1/2 feet in height

-dense tufts of leaves at the base

-Stems are soft

-Flower head has many flowers, 1″ to 4″ high.

-the rootstock is stout, branching and proliferous.

– one of two genera of rushes in ME; Juncus is not hairy, the other (Luzula) is hairy

– may be confused with J. pylaei (also considered a variety of J. effusus) or J. conglomeratus; see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage


-disturbed sites


-meadows and fields




Go Botany. “Juncus Effusus L.” Juncus Effusus (Common Soft Rush): Go Botany, 2021,

Eric T. Doucette, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Biology, MA College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, MA (updated Feb 2018)