Alternate Title

Vegetative Morphology and Anatomy of the Salt Marsh Rush, Juncus roemerianus

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The extensive rhizome development found in Juncus roemerianus makes this species unique among rushes and is a biological feature responsible, in part, for its domination of large tracts of salt marsh. Branching in certain mature plants is distinctly sympodial, while in most it is obscured by precocious development of the continuation bud and appears to be monopodial. Each vegetative unit is composed of a scaly rhizome which grows to varying lengths and then abruptly turns up at the end to become an erect shoot. A continuation rhizome consistently arises from an axillary bud in a ventral scale leaf. Transitional leaves (large scale leaves) accompany development of the erect shoot. Rhizome scales, transitional and foliage leaves are distichously arranged and in the same vertical plane. The culm forms through an elongation of an internode of an erect shoot. Other rhizomes may also arise from buds in the axils of the transitional and foliage leaves. From one to seven terete leaves with a bifacial sheath are produced from the apical meristem of the erect stem. Fibrous roots occur laterally on erect shoots. Non-fibrous roots occur on the ventral surface to the rhizomes. The internal rhizome and root anatomy resembles that reported for most other species of Juncus while the leaf anatomy is very similar to that of Juncus maritimus and Juncus acutus.

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