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  for JULY

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Plant Database Search Results > Juncus patens
Juncus patens - California Gray Rush
Image of Juncus patens
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass-like
Family: Juncaceae (Rushes)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
California Native (Plant List): Yes
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. We also grow our own selection of this species Juncus patens 'Elk Blue' but thank the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden for this selection of the species. 

This information about Juncus patens displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.