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Photo: Vasey Rush

Juncus vaseyi Engelm.

Vasey Rush

Habitat: Damp shores, thickets, etc. [Open wetland, not coastal nor rivershore (non-forested, wetland)]

Range: Nova Scotia to British Columbia, south to Maine, northern New York, Indiana, and Colorado.

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 vaseyi belongs to a group of rushes that are perennial, have terete leaves (circular in cross-section), and each flower borne separately on a short pedicel. Juncus vaseyi is separated from the similar Juncus greenei, which is common in Maine, by its larger capsules (4.1-5.4 mm long) and seeds with prominent white, tail-like appendages at each end (visible with a 10x handlens). Juncus greenei has smaller capsules (3-4 mm long) and seeds with a minute white tip at each end.

Photo: Vasey Rush

Ecological characteristics: Known to occur in Maine in a variety of habitats, from the rim of gorges to dry soil.

Phenology: Fruits July - August.

Family: Juncaceae

Synonyms: Formerly referred to as Juncus greenei var. vaseyi (Engelm.) Boivin

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 10 town(s) in the following county(ies): Aroostook, Franklin, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Washington.

Dates of documented observations are: 1882, 1890, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001

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

Conservation considerations: One known population has succumbed to conversion of its habitat to residential or commercial use; others are vulnerable.

For more information, see the New England Wild Flower Society's Conservation Plan for Juncus vaseyi-pdf link-115 KB.