Juncus tenuis (poverty rush, roadside rush, wire grass, slender yard rush, field rush)

evergreen perennial

place of origin:
Eurasia and North America

urban habitat: commonly found in compacted soil, along heavily traveled walkways and roadsides, in pavement openings, gravel, waste places, urban meadows; thrives in dry or wet conditions in full sun; seeds are capable of germinating after long periods of burial in soil.

ecological function: disturbance-adapted colonizer of bare ground.

history: Juncus tenuis is native to North America and was purportedly introduced in Europe accidently in the 1700’s. It is widely considered to be a weed. Although Europeans found no use for the plant, the Cherokee and Iriquois made use of the plant medicinally to induce vomiting, and in an infusion, as a wash to strengthen babies. It was also used as a fiber to make cordage for use in cooking.