Plants of Stone Lakes NWR
Considered historically uninteresting by botanists, the Common Rush (Juncus patens) is actually far from it. This unassuming plant has tremendous value in providing erosion control and soil stabilization, particularly in areas that flood periodically. The matrix of the plant's rhizomes (its creeping rootstock system) is beneficial in the filtering treatment of water. A wide range of birds and mammals eat the seeds or rootstock of common rush, including waterfowl, songbirds, jack rabbits, cottontail, muskrat, porcupine and gophers. Wading birds and amphibians find shelter among the stems. .
The genus name “Juncus” means to bind and Native Americans used Common Rush in
making baskets, mats and twine.