The Juncus (Juncus textilis), or Junco in Spanish, is endemic and native to California. There are 27 native species of Juncus in San Diego County. Juncus or Basket Rush is an important plant used by early Native Americans for basket-making as it is interwoven with other native plants like Deergrass (Muhlenbergia rigens) and the Yucca (Yucca whipplei) to make these baskets.
Habitat loss and urban development, as well as the invasion of non-native plant species and the spraying of pesticides, have affected the riparian ecosystems that support Juncus in southern California. These threats affect the plants long-term viability as well as its importance to the traditions of the local native peoples.
To see more photos of the Juncus, visit the San Diego Natural History Museum’s San Diego County Plant Atlas.
PHOTO CREDIT: Deborah Small