Jointed Rush - Juncus articulatus


Rhizomatous plant, forming dense patches, with erect to prostrate stems, and a stem leaf.  It is very variable.   The leaf is virtually hollow with  very obvious transverse septa which can be felt as ridges across the leaf, but other species share this character.   It is very similar to Sharp-flowered Rush (Juncus acutiflorus), and they do hybridise; according to Stace (4th edn.) the hybrid can be commoner than either species.   

Inflorescences are usually smaller and less branched than J acuitiflorus, and the mature flowers have brown outer tepals that are acute, inner tepals that are acute to rounded. (reference: Stace, 4th edition)

Similar Species

Juncus acutiflorus (Sharp-flowered Rush) and the hybrid between the two

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

It may not be possible to identify this from a photo, especially of immature or old plants; and be aware of the possibility of hybrids.  Photos showing details of mature inflorescence.   Refer to Stace 4th edition for more information.


Marshes and wet places.

When to see it

June to September.

Life History


UK Status

Very common throughout Britain.

VC55 Status

Quite common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 296 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Jointed Rush
Species group:
Grasses, Rushes & Sedges
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
12/07/2006 (Calow, Graham)
Last record:
14/06/2024 (Calow, Graham)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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Photo of the association

Livia junci

Livia junci is a small (2.5 mm) brown jumping plant louse that causes galls to form on certain Juncus rush species. The shoots become shortened and thickened and bunch into a mass up to 8 cm long including the flowers whose parts become leafy and thickened; reddish at first, later brown.