Juncus bufonius L.

  • Authority

    Balslev, Henrik. 1996. Juncaceae. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 68: 1-167. (Published by NYBG Press)

  • Family


  • Scientific Name

    Juncus bufonius L.

  • Type

    Type. Europe. Van Royen s.n. (lectotype, L, n.v., designated by Cope and Stace, 1978; paratype, L, n.v.).

  • Synonyms

    Juncus prolifer Kunth, Juncus inaequalis Buchenau, Juncus bufonius var. pumilio Griseb.

  • Description

    Species Description - Annual, cespitose herbs, 5-40 cm tall. Rhizome absent. Culms erect, procumbent or ascending, terete, smooth, 0.5-1.5 mm diam., sometimes producing foliar shoots in leaf axils on procumbent stems. Cataphylls absent or rarely one to each culm and then inconspicuous, membranous, 7-12 mm long. Foliar leaves 1-5 basal and 1-3 cauline to each culm, 4-15 cm long; sheaths 0.5-3 cm long, with scariose margins which are not extended into auricles; blade flat with raised margins, slightly channelled above, 0.5-1.5 mm wide. Inflorescence usually occupying >½ the total plant height, lax, compound, consisting of several unilateral cymes (drepania) with the flowers inserted individually and removed from one another, or rarely 2-4 flowers clustered together, individual drepania up to 10 cm long. Lower inflorescence bract resembling cauline leaf, 4-15 cm long, distal bracts progressively shorter, the ultimate ones to 5 mm long and scariose. Each flower clasped by two 1.5-2.5 mm long bracteoles. Tepals unequal, lanceolate, acuminate, light green with scariose margins, turning brown at fruit ripening, outer tepals 4-6(-7) mm long, inner tepals 3.5-5(-6) mm long. Stamens 6, 1.3-2.2(-2.6) mm long; anthers linear or oblong, 0.3-1(-1.5) mm long. Capsule ellipsoid, trigonous, truncate and mucronate, 3-4 X 1.5-2 mm, with persisting 0.1-0.3 mm long style, castaneous at maturity, dehiscing apically, 3-locular. Seeds oblong, apiculate, 0.40.6 x 0.2-0.3 mm, smooth to slightly rugose, yellow-brown.

  • Discussion

    Juncus bufonius is morphologically variable, and in Europe and the Middle East it has been treated as a complex of closely related microspecies (Cope & Stace, 1978; Loenhoud & Sterk, 1976; Snogerup, 1971, 1980; Krechetovich & Goncharov, 1935; Mi-cieta, 1983; Micieta & Mucina, 1983). About 60 names of specific and subspecific rank have been applied to the complex. From the neotropical region only two names relating to the complex have been published. Juncus prolifer is based on a large specimen from Colombia, and J. bufonius var. pumilio is a depauperate specimen from N Argentina. After examining a large material from the neotropical region, I have not found any reason to divide it into either microspecies or varieties.

    Distribution and Ecology: Juncus bufonius is a weedy cosmopolitan species most common in the north temperate region but also found in the cool highlands of all tropics, and it occurs in all major south temperate areas. Adamson (1935) suggested that it was introduced to South Africa, and Cheeseman (1925) considered it introduced to New Zealand during the western colonization of that country. In the neotropical region it is a weedy species, most often found in open and exposed soils along roads, ditches, etc. It shows the usual altitudinal pattern found in other species of Juncus, occurring at higher elevations near the equator and lower elevations farther away from the equator. Its altitudinal range is wider than that of most other Juncus species. It has been collected as high up as 4000 m and as low as 1000 m in Ecuador and at 350 m in Peru.

  • Distribution

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