Sonntag, 4. September 2011

Plant of the Day (September 4th, 2011) - Juncus compressus Jacq.

Today's plant is a small grass from the Junaceae (rush) family. Its name is Juncus compressus Jacq.; in English known as “Round-fruited Rush” and in German as “Platthalm-Binse”.

J. compressus - habitus

It's small plant with heights between 15 and 30 centimetres. The upright growing stalk is compressed, what gave the plant also its name. Each plant has one or two foliage leaves. These leaves are grey-green, ply and have a shiny leaf-blade. They've also auricles at the base.

The flowers are small, inconspicuous perigones with six, brown or reddish tepals. They are between 2 or 3 millimetres long and have a blunt end. Each flower is topped by a very long bract.

J. compressus - flowers
b = bract; f = fruit; p = perigone
s = shoot

This small plant is native to Europe and Asia but can also found as neophyte in North America. J. compressus grow primary on crushed, dense soils, so you can find it e. g. on trails, sidewalks or trampled meadows. I found this one on a pavement in the middle of my hometown. It grows on sandy or loamy soils but also on lime.

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