Theodore Payne California Native Plant Database

Juncus acutus ssp. leopoldii

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Species Name: Juncus acutus ssp. leopoldii
Common Name: Southwestern Spiny Rush

Great accent plant for moist areas. Birds like the seeds. Makes a good barrier plant. Threatened by urbanization and flood control in California.

Plant Family: Juncaceae
Plant Type: Rush
Height by Width: 2-3' H x 2-3' W
Growth Habit: Clumping, spreading
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Full to part sun
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Regular
Cold Hardy to: 35 degrees F
Flower Season: Spring/Summer
Flower Color: Brown
Endangered?: List 4/ RED 1-2-1
Distribution: Central Coast, South Coast, southern Channel Islands, Sonoran Desert
Natural Habitat: Moist saline places, below 900'

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Care and Maintenance


Other Names
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.
  • Harlow, Nora and Kristin Jakob. Wild Lilies, Irises, and Grasses: Gardening with California Monocots. Berkely and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. 2003.

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