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Hard Rush: hard to identify

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Hard Rush: hard to identify

Separating hard rush (Juncus inflexus) from soft rush can be a bit tricky. Although I now know the differences I am still dubious about recording hard rush on occasions. They are quite similar and yet, despite this, they are also quite different but the differences are, perhaps, quite detailed.

It might seem obvious but hard rush stems are harder and more brittle than the more flexible stem of soft rush, hence their names, but actually I do not find that of much help in the field! They both occur in damp meadows and so that is not much help either. The flowers of hard rush are similar to soft rush but more open and upright but unless you see them together the difference is not necessarily obvious.

So what is the difference? Well hard rush stems are a dark bluish/green colour whereas soft rush is a much brighter green and hard rush tends to grow in much larger clusters than soft rush and soft rush is generally taller than hard rush. As I said, there are several differences between the two species but unless you see them side by side it can make you stop and think!


 

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This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 12 months ago

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