Dune Slack Rush

© Joan Young

Name

Dune Slack Rush or Matting Rush

Latin Name

Juncus kraussii

Habitat

Dune Slack Rush dominates saltmarshes where salinities are low and it often extends into dune slacks bordering saltmarshes. It is one of several species of sedges that border estuaries.

Fruit

The flowers and cylindrical fruits of the Rush are borne in terminal tufts. Size 40 cm.

Description

The Dune Slack Rush has long, sharply-pointed stems with thin, pointed leaves.

Field Notes

The Dune Slack Rush is used for the traditional weaving of sleeping mats – hence the name Matting Rush – in Kwazulu Natal. Other household items such as baskets and beer strainers are made from the Rush. The Rush is strong but easy to work, hence the popularity. A downside of its popularity is that it is now harvested in large quantities to satisfy the arts and crafts market, and in some places, it is becoming rare.

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