Needle Rush - Juncus roemerianus
Habitat Salt marshes
Range Maryland to Florida
Description Stiff, erect branches, flowers at tips of branches up to 12 cm long. Stem like leaves that are long, stiff, round with very sharp points.
Ecological Notes This plant tends to live on higher ground in salt marsh environments due to its root system; Juncus roots are densely packed, deep and thick making them better competitors. Juncus is often a part of zonation commonly seen in salt marsh areas, along with Spartina. The Juncus is a better competitor; however, it cannot grow at lower levels near the water due to the salinity variation. However, it controls the upper level zonations.
Personal Information The Juncus was extremely sharp, as was realized by Whitney. When we visited the Oregon Inlet Marina, we were very intrigued to see the zonation caused by Spartina and Juncus (Picture 3)
Journal Articles To learn more about the general characteristics and conditions in which the Needle Rush thrives, please see:
http://apps.isiknowledge.com/full_record.do?product=WOS&search_mode=GeneralSearch&qid=6&SID=2ANiag6@feGchcinlM8&page=1&doc=2 Woerner LS, Hackney CT. (1997). Distribution of Juncus roemerianus in North Carolina tidal marshes: The importance of physical and biotic variables. WETLANDS, 17(2), 284-291.
For information on the stability of Needle Rush and its competition abilities, please see:
http://apps.isiknowledge.com/full_record.do?product=WOS&search_mode=GeneralSearch&qid=6&SID=2ANiag6@feGchcinlM8&page=1&doc=3 Brinson MM, Christian RR. (1999). Stability of Juncus roemerianus patches in a salt marsh. WETLANDS, 19(1), 65-70.
Contributed by Savannah Frank - 2008