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Products > Juncus patens
Juncus patens - California Gray Rush

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass-like
Family: Juncaceae (Rushes)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Brown
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: <15 F
Juncus patens (California Gray Rush) - An upright evergreen grass-like plant that forms dense clumps from short rhizomes with thin rounded gray-green leafless stems that grow upright to a height of about 18 to 24 inches with inconspicuous golden-brown flower clusters that emerge from below the leaf tips from spring to fall. Plant in dry shade to occasionally-irrigated full sun - quite drought tolerant once established and hardy down to at least 15 F. It is one of the more versatile rushes in that it has adapted to our dry summers and wet winters. It can be used in different garden situations - from a dry garden in shade to 4" deep in a pond. The species is native along nearly the entire California coast from Oregon to northern San Diego County and on the Channel Islands. The name for the genus comes from the Latin word 'iuncus' which was the ancient word for Rushes and came from the word 'iungere' meaning "to join" and was in reference to the use of Rushes for cordage and tying. The German botanist Ernest Heinrich Friedrich Meyer described this plant in 1823 with the specific epithet coming from the Latin word 'pateo' meaning "to lie open" in reference to the spreading nature of the plant. Another common name for this plant is Wire Grass. Our thanks to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden for this plant.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Juncus patens.