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What Is Broad-leaf Rush - (Juncus planifolius)?

Habitat: Wetlands
Distribution in Ireland: Sparse distribution but locally abundant in some places

Status: Established

Family name: Juncaceae

Reproduction: The very small seed size suggests that Broad-Leaved Rush may be dispersed by wind, water or animals. Other Juncus spp. can pass throught the gut of ungulates, germinating from the dung but information in an Irish context is absent. The free movement of sheep on commonage areas may be an important vector for the species.

Broad-leaved rush flower & Leaf

Native to Australia, New Zealand & South America it is unknown how this species was introduced to Ireland in 1970's. Broad-Leaf Rush currently resides mainly in Connemara. It is identified by its umbel-like and irregularly branched, 2–12 cm long; flowers. Can grow to .3 metres height. Broad-Leaf Rush is invasive species. The impacts are currently unknown.

Broad-leaved rush leaves

How To Identify Broad-leaf Rush?

Broad-Leaf Rush - Juncus planifolius - ID Guide

Colour: Pale Brown, Pink & Green

Size: Can grow up to .3 metres

Tufted or with short vertical rhizome, annual or perennial.

Leaves: up to 100 mm x 8 mm, blade flat, 1.5–11 mm wide Sheath: pale brown.

Flowers pink, 1.5-2.0 mm long, clustered at apex of branches.

Tepals: red-brown, mid-rib region often paler or all straw-brown. 

Stamens shorter than outer tepals. Pollen grain is, circular shape.

Broad-leaf rush -Juncus planifolius ID Guide

Why Is Broad-leaved Rush A Problem?

The establishment and spread of this perennial herb, which grows in dense tufts, may result in competition for space with native flora occurring in damp habitats, peaty and mineral soils, by streams, on lake shores and marshy meadows.


Such competition for space may result in the displacement of native flora and ultimately cause changes to habitat composition and structure.

Broad-leaf Rush Flower

European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 non-native invasive plant species A-Z (Updated 2017)

There are currently 35 invasive plant species listed in the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations (annex 2, Part 1)...


Click on a species from the following list to find out more regarding non-native species subject to restrictions under Regulations 49 and 50

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