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Photo: Juncus stygius

Juncus stygius L.

Moor Rush

Habitat: Circumneutral fens, usually with few or no trees. [Open wetland, not coastal nor rivershore (non-forested, wetland)]

Range: Newfoundland to Maine, northern New York, Michigan and Minnesota; also in British Columbia and Europe.

Aids to Identification: Rushes are recognized by their grass-like morphology, small flowers with 6 inconspicuous sepals and petals (called tepals) and 3-valved capsules. Juncus stygius belongs to a group of rushes with flowers and are borne in dense clusters, that have white or pink-tinged tepals and seeds with conspicuous white, tail-like appendages. It has larger seeds (3-3.5 mm long) and capsules (6-7 mm tall) than any other rush.

Photo: Juncus stygius

Phenology: Flowers July - August.

Family: Juncaceae

Ecological characteristics: Ecological relationships in Maine are not well known.

Synonyms: Represented in Maine by subspecies americanus (Buch.) Hulten.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 12 town(s) in the following county(ies): Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset.

Photo: Juncus stygius flower

Dates of documented observations are: 1862, 1908, 1983, 1984 (2), 1985 (5), 1989, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003

Reason(s) for rarity: At southern limit of its range.

Conservation considerations: Appears to be persisting in the fens where it occurs.