Juncus ambiguus Guss.

seaside toad rush

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Seaside toad rush is part of the toadrush complex (Juncus bufonius), which has been divided into differing numbers of species. Seaside toad rush is a diminutive (usually under 10 cm in height) coastal halophyte (salt tolerator).

Habitat

Brackish or salt marshes and flats, marshes, meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
Stem shape in cross-section
the stem is round or oval in cross-section
Leaf blade width
0.3–1.1 mm
Leaf blade cross-section
the leaf blade is flat or rolled in at the edges
Inflorescence position
the inflorescence is at the tip of the plant
Inflorescence branching
the inflorescence is branched
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is a capsule, with at least three seeds in it
Fruit length
2.7–4 mm
Leaf position on plant
  • some leaf attachment points are above the midpoint of the stem
  • the attachment points of all the leaves are at or near the base of the plant
Perianth composition
the perianth is green or brown, with six sepal-like parts, and a leafy texture
Fruit cross-section
the fruit is triangular to terete (circular) in cross-section
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther color (dry)
    the anthers range in color from white to tan or yellow to yellow-brown
    Anther length
    0.3–0.8 mm
    Floral bristle color
    NA
    Floral bristle number
    • 0
    • NA
    Floral bristle relative length
    NA
    Floral bristles
    NA
    Floral scale hairs
    NA
    Floral scale length
    0 mm
    Floral scale nerves
    NA
    Flower number per cluster
    1
    Inflorescence bract angle
    the bracts are vertical or angled only slightly outwards
    Inflorescence bract number
    there are two to five bracts per inflorescence
    Inflorescence bract position (Sparganium)
    NA
    Inflorescence bracts
    there are at least two bracts, and they are either flat or folded or rolled in at the edges
    Inflorescence branching
    the inflorescence is branched
    Inflorescence crowding
    • the inflorescence is at least somewhat spread out, with at least one branch coming from the main stem
    • the inflorescence is crowded together in one tight cluster
    Inflorescence position
    the inflorescence is at the tip of the plant
    Inflorescence shape
    the aggregations within the inflorescence are roughly circular (not flattened) in cross-section
    Inflorescence type
    there are two or more flowers, spikes or flower clusters on a branched inflorescence
    Perianth composition
    the perianth is green or brown, with six sepal-like parts, and a leafy texture
    Stamen length
    1–2.6 mm
    Stamen number
    • 3
    • 4-6
    Stigma number
    3
    Style division
    the style is divided nearly from the base
    floral bristle barbs
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene beak length
    0 mm
    Achene surface texture
    NA
    Achene tubercle relative width
    NA
    Achene tubercle width
    0 mm
    Capsule relative length
    • the capsule is about equal to the perianth
    • the capsule is longer thant he perianth
    • the capsule is shorter than the perianth
    Fruit cross-section
    the fruit is triangular to terete (circular) in cross-section
    Fruit length
    2.7–4 mm
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is a capsule, with at least three seeds in it
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
    Locules in capsule
    the capsule has three locules
    Seed length
    0.26–0.49 mm
    Seed tail relative length
    0.26–0.5 mm
    Seed tails
    there is no tail on the seeds
    Tubercle height
    0 mm
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives only a single year or less
    Underground organs
    there are only slender roots on the plant
  • Leaves
    Auricle length
    0 mm
    Auricle texture
    NA
    Auricles
    there are no auricles on the leaf sheath
    Leaf blade cross-section
    the leaf blade is flat or rolled in at the edges
    Leaf blade length
    30–130 mm
    Leaf blade width
    0.3–1.1 mm
    Leaf form
    all the leaves hold their form out of water
    Leaf position on plant
    • some leaf attachment points are above the midpoint of the stem
    • the attachment points of all the leaves are at or near the base of the plant
    Leaf septa
    the leaf blades do not have transverse septa
    Leaf sheath hairs
    the leaf sheathes are without hairs
    Pedicel length (Typha)
    0 mm
    Stem leaf blade ligules
    there are no ligules at the leaf blade bases
    Stem leaf blades
    there are fully-developed leaves with leaf blades on the main stem
  • Place
    Habitat
    wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • brackish or salt marshes and flats
    • marshes
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Plant height
    5–40 cm
    Stem shape in cross-section
    the stem is round or oval in cross-section
    Stem texture near tip
    the stem feels smooth near the tip

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Maine
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
Massachusetts
extremely rare (uncertain) (S-rank: S1?), #NAME? (code: #NAME?)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Juncus bufonius:
inner tepals acute to acuminate, exceeding the capsule, capsules mostly acute to subacute at apex, and inflorescences relatively open (vs. J. ambiguous, with inner tepals rounded to acute at the apex, many equaling or shorter than the capsule, capsules mostly truncate at apex, and inflorescences relatively dense).

Family

Juncaceae

Genus

Juncus

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

3.  Juncus ambiguus Guss. NC

seaside toad rush. Juncus bufonius L. var. halophilus Buch. & Fern. • CT, MA, ME. Upper edges 
of saline marshes, low areas in fields and other open areas near the Atlantic coast. See Haines (2000c) and references cited therein for rationale for recognition of this species.