This salt-loving “leafless” rush can cover large areas in coastal salt and brackish tidal marshes, and is easily recognizable by its characteristic grayish-green to blackish hues. Its “stem tips” are very sharp pointed and stout. “Stems” in this species are actually leaves that are rounded so tightly that they appear to be very sharp-pointed stems. This Juncus is one of 21 species located in Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). Black needlerush occurs in the southern US, and extends north to DE and west to TX (Kartesz, 1999).
Black needle rush is a true rush. From rhizomes; stems to 5 ft. tall, grayish green; leaf blades stem-like, long, stiff, round, with very sharp points; inflorescence stiffish, erect branches, flowers at the tips of branches and branchlets; seed capsules in clusters of 2-6, 3-sided, dark brown, shiny.
Black needlerush, black rush – Juncus roemerianus
This plant is also known as black rush. The native needlerush is common to salt marshes and brackish waters of Florida. Needlerush may grow into tall, dark-green or dark-gray meadows, many acres in size. Needlerush typically grows to about 4 feet tall. The stems are round and thin, only about an eighth of an inch in diameter. They suddenly taper to hard, sharp points; hence, needlerush. The open, compound inflorescence of needlerush can be 4 inches long. Compound means it has many branches and branchlets. At the tips of the branchlets are small clusters of 2 to 5 greenish-brown flowers. The fruit of needlerush is a dry capsule containing small shiny seeds. Needlerush is a common coastal marsh plant in Florida. It has cylindrical stems that grow to 4 feet tall. The compound inflorescence has branches and branchlets, and has many flowers. The fruit of needlerush is a dry capsule containing shiny seeds.