Species Factsheets

Juncus dichotomus

Forked Rush

View as PDF

State Status: Pennsylvania Endangered (PE)
PBS Status: Pennsylvania Endangered (PE)
Federal Status:

Global Rank: G5 rank interpretation
State Rank: S1

Did You Know?

This species has been introduced in Europe and is even considred an invasive in some Europen naitons.

Juncus dichotomus


Forked rush (Juncus dichotomus) is a perennial herb with rounded, slender stems that may be from 30-90cm tall. The leaves are elongate, about 2mm wide, rounded in cross-section and indented or channeled near the top, and only about half as long as the length of the stem. The flowers, appearing in late spring and summer, are grouped in an open branched cluster at the top of the stem. Flowers have six pointed petals and sepals that average about 5mm long. The petals and sepals remain around the fruit, a brownish, many-seeded capsule, as it ripens.

Rank Justification

Critically imperiled in the nation or state because of extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer occurrences) or because of some factor(s) such as very steep declines making it especially vulnerable to extirpation from the state.


It grows in moist to damp old fields, openings, clearings, and open woods.

Survey Dates

Flowers June - September; fruits July - October


In Pennsylvania, it has been documented historically in some southern, particularly southeastern, counties.



The viability of populations of this species and its habitat may be enhanced by creating buffers around wetlands, controlling invasive species, and protecting the natural hydrology around wetlands. Active management – such as fire, mowing, or invasive species removal – may be required to maintain the proper successional stage at sites where it grows.

Conservation Status Map


Map Legend

NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available https://explorer.natureserve.org.


  • NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available at https://www.natureserve.org/explorer
  • Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. 2018.
  • Rhoads, A.F. and W.M. Klein, Jr. 1993. The Vascular Flora of Pennsylvania. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block.
  • 2007. The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual. 2nd edition. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
PNHP is a partnership between The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,
the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission,
and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
DCNR Home Page
PA Game Commission Home Page
PA Fish and Boat Commission Home Page
Western PA Conservancy Home Page
DCNR Home Page PNHP | Forestry Home | Contact Us | Search This Site
© 2019 PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
DCNR Home Page