Rushes

Typical varieties are Juncus articulatus (jointed rush), Juncus balticus (Baltic rush), and Juncus effusus (soft rush). Distribution is worldwide. Optimum pH is 5 to 7.5. Salinity tolerance is 0 to <25, depending on type. Growth is very slow, via rhizomes; lateral spread is <0.3 ft/yr (0.1 m/yr), providing dense cover in 1 year with plants spaced at 0.5 ft (0.15 m). Annual yield is 45 (dw) ton/ac (50 mt/ha). Tissue (dw basis) is approximately 15% N, 2% P; 50% solids. Rushes provide food for many bird species, and their roots are food for muskrats. Some rushes can tolerate permanent inundation up to <1 ft (0.3 m), but they prefer dry-down periods. Other plants are better suited as the major species for wastewater wetlands; rushes are well suited as a peripheral planting for habitat enhancement.

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