This is a rush with leaf blades, so it looks quite different from the leafless stems of soft rush. It may be encountered along sandy, wet shores and ditches as single clumpy plants or as an abundant colony of plants. This Juncus is one of 21 occurring in Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). Shore rush is located throughout the northeast, the deep south, and extending into the southwest US; and in northeast Canada as well (Kartesz, 1999).
Shore rush is a true rush. Stems clump-forming, somewhat flattened, to 4 ft. tall; leaf blades flat, to 1/4 in. wide, pointed tips; inflorescences at stem tip, from very compact to much-branched and open, having several-200 clusters of flowers and fruits; flowers dark brown, stiff; seed capsules to 1/8 in. long, elliptic with rounded 3-lobed tops, reddish brown, shiny; seeds irregular, amber.
Shore rush – Juncus marginatus (syn. J. biflorus, J. aristulatus)
This rush species is found in marshes, wet depressions, and wet pinewoods. Like many other rushes, this one grows in clumps. They grow to about 3 feet tall. One to three stems grow from each of the bulb-like bases. Unlike needle rush and soft rush, this species has recognizable leaves. The leaves are soft and very narrow: only 2 mm wide. They have pointed tips. The leaves are not nearly as long as the stems. The compound inflorescence of this species has many branches and branchlets. At the end of each branchlet is a cluster of 2 to 12 brownish flowers. The fruit are brown, ovoid capsules. This clump-forming rush has very narrow, flat leaves. It has a typical rush inflorescence; that is, with many branches and branchlets. At the tip of each branchlet is a cluster of several brown flowers.