Growth habit of pacific rush (Juncus effusus), also known as common rush, pasture rush, or soft rush. One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Close up of the inflorescence of pacific rush (Juncus effusus), also known as common rush, pasture rush, or soft rush. One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.

Common Rush

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Juncus effusus

Common rush, also known as Pacific rush or soft rush, is a hardy, clump-forming wetland or raingarden plant with tiny golden brown flowers in summer. Its soft, vibrant green foliage grows by rhizomes to form low-maintenance, evergreen coverage and provides exceptional habitat benefits in sunny wet areas. 

  • Plant type/canopy layer: evergreen perennial herbaceous plant
  • Size at maturity: 0-3' high, 1-2' wide
  • Light requirements: full sun, partial shade
  • Moisture requirements: moist to wet soil
  • Bloom time: June - Aug
  • Growth rate/ease: fast growing, easy to grow
  • Wildlife support: attracts/supports beneficial and pest eating insects, caterpillar host plant and larval food source; seeds are enjoyed by birds and small mammals
  • Native habitat/range: common in wet meadows, wet prairies, in ditches and along shores and swales from sea level to 2100 ft. Portland Plant List - yes.  
  • Special features & uses: evergreen; wildlife favorite; landscape uses include wet meadows and raingardens/bioswales and erosion control

Gardening with Common Rush: If you’re looking for a fast-growing, low-maintenance plant to control erosion and provide year-round structure and habitat in your wet meadow or the bottom layer of a raingarden, look no further. Common rush is fuss-free and will even tolerate areas with seasonal to constant flooding.  

Photo Credit 1: "File:Juncus effusus1 ies.jpg" by Ies is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo Credit 2: "Juncus effusus" by anro0002 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0