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Two-flowered Rush

Juncus biglumis

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Juncaceae (Rush)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Bogs, gardens, marshes, mountains, riversides, rocky places, waterside, wetland.

Brown, no petals
The erect, unbranched stems are topped by solitary, compact, brown flowerheads. This species is similar in appearance to Three-flowered Rush (Juncus triglumis) except that the bracts of the flowers do not overtop the flowerheads.
A small, shiny, dark brown nut, up to 5mm long. Many-seeded.
All leaves are basal leaves. They are flat, green and grass-like in appearance.
Other Names:
Common Rush.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Juncus biglumis, commonly known as common rush, is a species of rush in the Juncaceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia, and it is commonly found in wetland habitats such as marshes, bogs, and along the edges of ponds and streams. The plant has triangular stems with long, narrow leaves and small, brownish flowers that grow in clusters. It is often used in landscaping and horticulture as an ornamental plant. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is also used as a diuretic and anti-inflammatory agent.


Two-flowered rush, or Juncus biglumis, is a small, herbaceous perennial plant that is native to North America. It is commonly found in wetlands, marshes, and along the edges of streams and ponds. Despite its small size, this plant plays an important role in the ecosystem and has several interesting characteristics.


Two-flowered rush typically grows to a height of 10 to 30 cm (4 to 12 inches) and has long, slender stems that are green or reddish-brown in color. The leaves are narrow and grass-like, and the plant produces small flowers that are brownish-green in color. As the name suggests, each stem produces two flowers, which are small and inconspicuous.

Habitat and Distribution

Juncus biglumis is found throughout much of North America, from Alaska and Canada down to California and the eastern United States. It typically grows in wetlands, marshes, and along the edges of streams and ponds, where it can tolerate both flooding and drought conditions. This plant is adapted to a wide range of soil types, including sandy soils, loamy soils, and clay soils.

Ecological Importance

Two-flowered rush plays an important role in wetland ecosystems. Its roots help stabilize the soil and prevent erosion, while also providing habitat and food for a variety of aquatic animals, including insects, snails, and small fish. The plant also helps to filter pollutants from the water, improving water quality in the surrounding area.

In addition, two-flowered rush is a food source for a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl, rodents, and deer. Native American tribes also used the plant for a variety of medicinal purposes, including treating digestive problems and skin irritations.

Conservation Status

Despite its ecological importance, two-flowered rush is not considered a threatened species. However, like many wetland plants, it is threatened by habitat loss and degradation. Wetlands are often drained and converted to agricultural or urban land, which can have devastating effects on the plant and the animals that rely on it.


Juncus biglumis, or two-flowered rush, is a small but important plant that plays a crucial role in wetland ecosystems. Its ability to tolerate a wide range of soil types and water conditions makes it a resilient and adaptable species. However, habitat loss and degradation remain a major threat to the plant's survival, highlighting the need for continued conservation efforts to protect wetlands and the species that call them home.

More Information about Two-flowered Rush

Two-flowered rush is a member of the Juncaceae family, which includes many other rush species. The genus Juncus is known for its hardiness and adaptability, and includes several species that are important for erosion control and restoration projects.

In addition to its ecological importance, two-flowered rush has also been used for a variety of traditional and medicinal purposes. Native American tribes used the plant for treating digestive problems, skin irritations, and as a general tonic. The leaves were also used to make baskets and mats, and the fibers were used for cordage.

In modern times, two-flowered rush has also been used in landscaping and restoration projects. Its ability to tolerate wet conditions and low soil fertility makes it a good choice for stabilizing banks and controlling erosion. It is also a good choice for wetland restoration projects, where its ability to filter pollutants from the water can help improve water quality and promote the growth of other wetland plants.

Overall, two-flowered rush is a small but important plant that plays a crucial role in wetland ecosystems. Its ecological and cultural significance make it an important species to protect and conserve, highlighting the need for continued efforts to protect wetland habitats and the species that depend on them.

One interesting characteristic of two-flowered rush is its ability to survive in both flooded and dry conditions. During times of flooding, the plant can continue to grow and thrive, despite being partially or completely submerged. This is due in part to its flexible stems, which can bend and sway with the water currents. However, during dry periods, the plant can also tolerate drought conditions by going dormant, which allows it to conserve energy and resources until conditions improve.

Another interesting aspect of two-flowered rush is its unique reproductive strategy. The plant produces small, inconspicuous flowers that are wind-pollinated. Once pollinated, the flowers produce small, brownish-black seeds that are dispersed by wind or water. However, two-flowered rush also has the ability to reproduce vegetatively, by producing new plants from its underground rhizomes. This allows the plant to rapidly colonize new areas and form dense stands, which can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion.

Despite its importance, two-flowered rush is sometimes considered a weed in certain contexts. For example, it can be a problem in agricultural fields or lawns where it can compete with other plants and reduce yields. In addition, the dense stands that it forms can sometimes impede water flow or reduce access to recreational areas.

Overall, two-flowered rush is a fascinating and ecologically important plant that has a lot to offer. From its ability to tolerate a wide range of conditions, to its important role in wetland ecosystems and traditional uses, this plant is a valuable and versatile species that deserves our attention and protection.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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