Habit: an evergreen riparian plant producing large clumps of rounded stems and leaves that spreads from stout rhizomes. Leaves are reduced to small sheaths near the bottom of the plant. The inflorescence is positioned laterally off the stem in a variety of forms ranging from open to a tightly bunched group of small brown florets. Blooming from June through August, followed by fruits that are a small three part capsule.
Ecology: common rush occurs across much of North America in wet spots of the oak woodland, wetlands, and near the edges of water and bogs, as well as shallow sandy soils with seasonal flooding.
Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade, moist to wet soil, cold hardy.
The rhizomatous nature, nitrogen fixation capabilities, and dense root system, provide high soil and slope stabilization capabilities, particularly in areas with flooded soils. Rushes also provide habitat for amphibians and spawning areas for fish and a wide range of mammal and bird species depend on Juncus effusus for food and habitat.