Juncus repens

Creeping rush

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Background, Midground, Foreground, group
Difficulty: easy
Growth: fast
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Range and localities: 

Southeastern and eastern USA; Mexico: Tabasco; West Indies: Cuba

Common names: 
  • Creeping rush
  • Lesser creeping rush

Habit, plant type:

  • stem
Botanical name [?]: Júncus répens Michx.

Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Poales
Family: Juncaceae
Genus: Juncus


Even though other members of the rush family (Juncaceae) are popular plants for ponds or their edges, Juncus repens, the lesser creeping rush, is their only representative used in aquaria so far. Its habit is quite unique, as it looks like a mixture of stem and rosulate plant. Its flattish stem is interrupted by tufts of numerous narrow, pointed leaves in regular distances.

This rush species is quite common the southeast of the US, where it is found growing emersed as well as submersed. Even though it is not frequently found in trade in its country of origin, it is readily available for European hobbyists.

The overall requirements of J. repens are easy to meet, and the plant does well in a multitude of different setups, it grows equally well under low light as under strong light. Given unhindered exposure to light and a good supply of micronutrients, the plant assumes a reddish hue. Under lesser light, it is of a beautiful green. Its moderate but constant growth rate makes it easy to work with, however, for the same reason it is a tad susceptible to green spot algae. Propagation is best done by cutting off the upper part of a shoot under a leaf cluster and replanting it. The new plant does not have to have roots.

Juncus repens is a variable species and offers diverse possibilities for decorating a tank - as a "filler" plant or as background plant for aquaria of any size and style. However, it can be used as an accent for the middleground, too. It is even suitable for the foreground when kept short by trimming.

References and further reading:
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