Elk Blue Rush
Juncus patens 'Elk Blue' (Elk Blue California Gray Rush) - An upright fine-textured evergreen grass-like plant that forms dense clumps from short rhizomes with narrow rounded blue-gray leafless stems that grow upright typically to a height of 18 to 24 inches but can reach 30 inches with regular irrigation and fertilizer or if planted in shallow water. From spring to fall it has inconspicuous golden-brown flower clusters that emerge about two-thirds of the way up along the sides of the stems. Plant in dry shade to occasionally-irrigated full sun - quite drought tolerant once established and hardy down to at least 15° F. Like the species, this versatile rush is adapted to our dry summers and wet winters but can be used in diverse garden situations - from a dry garden in shade to 4" deep in a pond. It is generally left alone by deer and other browsers. This plant was first introduced by our nursery in 1994. It was collected by Randy Baldwin on private property along a ridge south east-of the town of Elk, along the coast south of Mendocino. It has stems that are narrower and bluer than most other forms of Juncus patens and since its introduction it has become one of the most popular of the Juncus that we grow. The name for the genus comes from the Latin word 'iuncus' which was the ancient word for Rushes which came from the word 'iungere' meaning "to join" in reference to the use of Rushes for cordage. The German botanist Ernest Heinrich Friedrich Meyer described this plant in 1823 with the specific epithet coming from the Latin word 'pateo' meaning "to lie open" in reference to the spreading nature of the plant. The second image of this plant courtesy of Rick Darke. The information provided on this webpage is based on the research that we have conducted about this plant in our nursery library and that information that we have found about it on reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations in our nursery of crops of this plant, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens. We will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information aiding others in growing Juncus patens 'Elk Blue'.