Juncus effusus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Juncales Juncaceae

Scientific Name: Juncus effusus
Species Authority: L.
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Soft Rush
French Jonc Diffus, Jonc Épars
Juncus canariensis Willd.
Juncus communis E.Mey.
Juncus expansus Jan
Juncus fistulosus Guss.
Juncus pylaei Laharpe
Taxonomic Notes: J. effusus hybridises with J. inflexus L. (Juncus ×diffusus Hoppe) but the hybrid is not abundant and is unlikely to influence interpretation of the distribution of the species. Two varieties are widely recognised but there is little information on differences in their distribution or ecology, for example the apparent differences shown by Tela Botanica show that recording to varietal level is inconsistent, while Preston et al. (2002) do not map the different subspecies even though they are widely recorded in the UK.

Brooks and Clemants (2000) in Flora of North America vol. 22 say "The Juncus effusus complex has been variously recognized as containing several species or a single species with numerous infraspecific taxa. Unfortunately, North American treatments have dealt primarily with taxa in either the eastern or western portions of the continent. In considering the continent as a whole, little sense can be made of these treatments. The North American J. effusus complex is one that is in obvious need of modern systematic scrutiny."

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-02-27
Assessor(s): Lansdown, R.V.
Reviewer(s): Smith, K.
Contributor(s): Juffe Bignoli, D.

This species is classed as Least Concern as it is widespread with stable populations and does not face any major threats.


Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Juncus effusus is a cosmopolitan species which occurs throughout most of Europe, Asia south to Indonesia, North America, the Atlantic islands and Madagascar.

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Australia; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Burundi; Canada; China (Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Tibet [or Xizang], Yunnan, Zhejiang); Colombia (Colombia (mainland)); Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Costa Rica (Costa Rica (mainland)); Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Ecuador (Ecuador (mainland)); El Salvador; Estonia; Finland; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Greece (East Aegean Is., Greece (mainland), Kriti); Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Hong Kong; Hungary; Iceland; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Kenya; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Madagascar; Mauritania; Mexico; Montenegro; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Peru; Poland; Portugal (Azores, Portugal (mainland)); Romania; Russian Federation (Central European Russia, East European Russia, North European Russia, Northwest European Russia, South European Russia); Rwanda; Serbia (Serbia); Slovenia; South Africa (North-West Province); Spain (Baleares, Canary Is., Spain (mainland)); Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Turkey (Turkey-in-Europe); Uganda; Ukraine; United Kingdom; United States; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of (Venezuela (mainland)); Zimbabwe
New Zealand
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):200
Upper elevation limit (metres):3400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This species is widespread and abundant throughout its known range. There is no detailed information available on population size.

Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

J. effusus is a tuft-forming perennial, which may occur as scattered plants or stands in natural and semi-natural habitats, but will develop extensive stands and become dominant to the exclusion of other species as a result of inappropriate land-use such as over-grazing of wet pasture. J. effusus occurs in most wetland habitats but is most typical of wet pasture and moorland. It is common on the margins of rivers, ponds, lakes and ditches and will occur as scattered stands in open, wet woodland. It apparently avoids base-rich soils and is most characteristic of sandy and peaty substrates, especially open heaths and moors.


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The pith is used as a wick for oil lamps and candles, and also medicinally as a diuretic and tranquilizer (Chen and Yang 2005, Sun et al. 2006).






Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There are no known past, ongoing, or future threats to this species

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

There are no conservation measures in place and none needed.

Citation: Lansdown, R.V. 2014. Juncus effusus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T164223A43119434. . Downloaded on 25 April 2017.
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