Rushes are spiky plants often found in poor agricultural land, waste areas, alongside ponds and other wet areas. Their leaves and stems are grass-like but are cylindrical and pithy.
Identify the problem
Rushes are hardy spiky weeds often found in poor agricultural land, pasture, waste areas, alongside ponds and other wet areas. Their leaves and stems are grass-like but are cylindrical and pithy. Rushes are not eaten by stock and can be seen as spiky tufts in grazed areas.
Did You Know
- Do you know how to tell the difference between grasses, sedges and rushes? Students of botany use the rhyme:
'Sedges have edges,
Rushes are round,
Grasses have nodes from their tips to the ground.'
- This is useful but not always the case. Grasses have leaves in two rows, their stems are hollow, with nodes wider than the stem. Sedges have stems that are triangular in cross section and if they have leaves there are three rows. Rushes have cylindrical leaves.
- You can find more information in the excellent Illustrated Guide to the Common Grasses, Sedges and Rushes of New Zealand. Published by the NZ Plant Protection Society.