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Basket Rush
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Juncus textilis

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About Basket Rush (Juncus textilis) Juncus textilis is a species of rush known by the common name basket rush. It is endemic to California, where it grows along the coast and in the coastal mountain ranges of the southern half of the state. This is a rhizomatous perennial herb growing to a maximum height between one and two meters. The stems are cylindrical with faint longitudinal grooves. The leaves lack blades and appear as small brown sheaths around the base of the stems. The long, bushy flower cluster arises from the side of the stem and splits into long branches bearing clusters of many flowers. Each flower is cupped by small, clear leaflets and has pointed greenish brown petals. There are six stamens with large anthers. The fruit is a dark brown, shiny capsule.

This species of rush has been used historically for basket weaving by several Native American peoples of southern California, such as the Cahuilla, Kumeyaay, and Chumash, among others. Juncus textilis is an important plant endemic to California; Chumash people use it today for basket-making as they have been for centuries. The rush is valued for its varied colors, from deep red to sun-dried tan; the stems may be dyed black with sea plants such as Suaeda species and yellow with Psorothamnus emoryi.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.3 - 7 ft (1 - 2.1 m)

Flower Color
Green, Brown

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Moist places


Elevation ?
-7' - 6059'

Annual Precip. ?
5.9" - 35.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 1.70"

Coldest Month ?
38.5° F - 56.1° F

Hottest Month ?
63.0° F - 82.0° F

Humidity ?
0.78 vpd - 32.72 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerant of a variety of garden soils as long as sufficient moisture is available

Fast, Medium, Slow

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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