Juncus effusus - Soft rush

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Full Sun Part Shade  Rain GardenBird FriendlyDeer Resistant
Soft rush
Juncus effusus

Juncus effusus is a clump-forming, wetland plant. Upright, fanning, deep green stems make a great accent in a container or water garden. Soft Rush can be planted at the edge of a pond or in up to 6" of standing water. Inconspicuous golden flowers appear atop the stems in summer. Native to most of North America, soft rush provides food and shelter for birds and other wildlife.

  • Soft rush can be planted along the water's edge and in water up to 6”
  • Works well in a bog or wet containers
  • Birds eat the small seeds after the yellow flowers have bloomed
  • Provides cover and nesting for wetland birds
  • Great for rain gardens, can be used to prevent erosion

Native Range

Native throughout much of North America. Found in swamps and damp open ground.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)


In Japan, soft rush is commercially grown for making soft woven mats. Prior to 1900, rush was used to make candle-like evening lights called rushlights.



Juncus effusus is native to sunny, freshwater wetland areas, marshes and ditches, but it is widely adaptable to a variety of conditions. Tolerant of average garden soils and periods of drought. Soft Rush prefers full or part sun.


Mature Size: -3ft. Tall x 1-2ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 2-9

Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade

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