Slender Rush (Juncus tenuis)
Slender rush is a native, perennial plant. It has thin, hollow, dark green leaves. The plant resembles sedges because it also has three leaves near the top of the stem. However, sedges have triangular-shaped stems, and rushes have round stems. Although both sedges and rushes superficially look like grasses, it is vital to correctly identify the plant because herbicides that control grassy weeds will NOT control this plant.
Slender rush has a clumping habit and reproduces from seed. A thick, glue-like substance covers the seeds, allowing them to adhere to just about anything. Slender rush can be found growing in full sun to shady conditions and dry, sandy soils to wet soils along shorelines. Slender rush is also called path rush and poverty rush because of its ability to grow in highly compacted soils. If you find slender rush plants growing in your lawn, core aeration may be necessary to alleviate soil compaction. For more information on preventing soil compaction and the benefits of core aeration, see HGIC 1200, Aerating Lawns.
NOTE: Slender rush is available for sale in the nursery trade. It is often sold as a wetland plant and provides erosion control. The plant’s ability to tolerate traffic also makes it suitable as a groundcover in highly traveled areas of the landscape.