by Stephen Mifsud
   24 Jun 2024      ()
External Links:

Juncus acutus   (Sharp-Pointed Rush)

Juncus acutus  (JUNCACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

Page Contents + Links

General Information Species Images
External Links Support and sales
Submit information Facebook community
Sponsors & Adverts Copyright notes
Juncaceae Index Plant Family Index
This profile is brought to you by one of the website's sponsors.
[read more...]
Profile Date Sep-2006 (taxon update: Sep-2006)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Juncus acutus - datasheet created on Sep-2006. Retrieved from on 24-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Juncus acutusL.
Published in Sp. Pl. 325 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Juncus multibracteatus Tineo ex Guss.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Juncaceae Juss. (The Rush Family)
9 species from the Juncaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Sharp-Pointed Rush, Sharp Rush, Spiny Rush

Maltese name(s) :

Simar Lixx, Simar niggież

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: HEMICRYPTOPHYTE ( prostate plants with flowers close to the ground )
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection :

Protected by law: Schedule III of [S.L. 549.44] (Conservation requires the designation of SAC)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

March – June

Colour of Flowers:

Inconspicuous or Brown


Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

Juncus: Latin name for the rush, possibly from 'jungere', = to join or bind, because the stems were used for binding material or weaved into nets or baskets. (Latin origin )
acutus: Sharp; sharpened to a stiff point - referring to the sharp pointed tips of the rigid leaves. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Maritime sands; rarely on damp or saline soils inland.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Valleys especially near coastal areas. Also grows near watercourses and damp shady sites.
Botanical Description: Plant densely caespitose; intravaginal shoots present. Stems (15-)50-150 cm, usually 2-4 mm in diameter, rigid, with 2-5 leaves. Inflorescence many-flowered, usually dense, globose, rarely lax and elongated; lowest two bracts well-developed and strongly pungent, usually short. Perianth-segments equal or subequal, oblong, with a wide, scarious margin; outer obtuse or acute; inner wide, with scarious apical auricles. Stamens equalling or slightly shorter than perianth; anthers 1.5-2 mm, several times as long as filaments. Capsule 4-6 mm, much exceeding the perianth, obovoid to ovoid, with a broadly conical to obtuse apex, shortly mucronate. Seeds 80-120, 1.5-2.5 mm; appendages equal.
Chromosome number: 2n=48
Distributional range: Mediterranean region and W. Europe, northwards to Ireland.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, the Azores, the Balaeric Islands, Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands), Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Ireland, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
AE(G) Ag Al Bl Br Ca Co Cr Cy Eg Ga Gr Hb Hs IJ It Ju Li LS Lu Ma Md Rf(CS) Sa Si Sn Tcs Tn Tu(A E)

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (12 images)
   Juncus acutus   -   Image Code: JNCAC-0.
   Juncus acutus   -   Image Code: JNCAC-1.
   Juncus acutus   -   Image Code: JNCAC-2.
   Juncus acutus   -   Image Code: JNCAC-3.
   Juncus acutus   -   Image Code: JNCAC-4.
   Juncus acutus   -   Image Code: JNCAC-5.
   Juncus acutus   -   Image Code: JNCAC-6.
   Juncus acutus   -   Image Code: JNCAC-7.
   Juncus acutus   -   Image Code: JNCAC-8.
   Juncus acutus   -   Image Code: JNCAC-9.
   Juncus acutus   -   Image Code: JNCAC-10.
   Juncus acutus   -   Image Code: JNCAC-11.

Buy Seeds and Docs
Sales of seeds of wild plants for academic studies, research or personal use. Note that not all species seeds can be exported - depending on Maltese regulations and CITES, and availability depends on season. You are hence kindly requested to first fill and submit a quotation form by which you will get confirmation of the purchase, availability and charges. Currently local orders are not taken.   Online Quotation (Seeds)

Buy images found in this large online collection of Maltese flora photographed by the author (Stephen Mifsud). Prices reasonable and rated differently according size and resolution. Buying images for your projects will support this website. When placing an order please take note of the image code specific for every image in the corresponding species webpage (found beneath each individual photo) since this is required when filling the online ordering form. Images are normally sold as a license with the copyright reserved to the author, but sales of copyright of exceptional images can be considered.   Online Purchase (Images)
Kindly consider to support this website by giving a small donation. This will help to cover some expenses needed to maintain the website and its further development without any adverts. Please login into your PayPal account and use the email: as email address to send your donation   Online Donation

Use this form to submit more information on this species or report mistakes in this webpage. If information supplied is taken from a book, journal or website, please provide the corresponding reference or website address. Your email address is only for internal communication. Please report only Maltese locations for plants that indicated as rare or very rare (refer to the nomenclature section above). Please do report mistakes, broken links, technical errors, typing / grammar errors, misidentifications or taxonomical updates; this will help to improve the website's accuracy. Thanks you! Fill any of the three sections (A/B/C) below and kindly submit the form.     * = required fields.
Plant Species:  *
Your name:   * Your Email:   *
Section A:  Additional Information about this plant species
Own observations: Info from published material (books, journals, website):
Reference of published material:
Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
Locations in Malta or Gozo where you have seen this plant. Only applies for rare plants.

1:       2:       3:   
4:       5:       6:   
Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
Section C:  Corrections for mistakes and errors in this plant profile
Section of this page where you found an error (select one)
What is the error/mistake and suggest a correction
AntiSpam Verification: Please answer these simple questions:   60 + 9 =     This website is about
      is supported by:
[ EcoGozo, Ministry for Gozo ] [ Projects in Motion ] [ Sunrise Pet & Garden Centre] [ MycoMalta ]
Webpage is copyright of Stephen Mifsud / - (2002-2022)