Juncus balticus x Juncus inflexus   Hybrid Rush DD N Endemic

Juncus balticus x Juncus inflexus

Finding this rare hybrid rush took some doing even though we knew it was present in the dunes we were exploring. It is actually very uncommon and would probably deserve a RR rating. The Baltic rush (Juncus balticus) is according to the distribution map a Northern Scottish species, the most southerly occurrence in Scotland being near Dundee. After that, a few hundred miles south, the only English occurrence is in these Southport dunes which makes the hybrid even less likely to occur.

In the extensive patch which we saw, the plants were mostly about 1.5 to 2m tall (taller than either parent) and the flowers and fruit had the look of a very straggly and over-sized J. inflexus (Hard Rush). As often happens with hybrids between different species of rush or sedge the plant was sterile and the little nutlets which you can see in the photograph were hollow.

In this case there is no common English name for this plant and neither is there a distinct botanical name for the hybrid.

Stace says that there are only two known colonies of this hybrid both in Lancashire.

Southport Dunes 23rd July 2005

Added on July 24th 2005, updated 7th February 2010, updated 13th April 2010

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict