This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Juncus Torreyi Coville, Bull. Torr. Club 22: 303. 1895. /. nodosus var. megacephalus Torr. Fl. N. Y. 2: 326. 1843. Juncus megacephalus Wood, Bot. Ed. 2, 724. 1861. Not /. megacephalus M. A. Curtis, 1835.
Stems 8'-40' high; rootstock slender, with tuberiform thickenings at intervals, each supporting a single stem; stem stout, 1-4-leaved; blade stout, terete, 5"-1' thick, abruptly divergent from the stem; inflorescence congested, consisting of 1-20 heads, exceeded by its lowest bract; heads 5"-8" in diameter; perianth 2"-2 1/2" long, its parts subulate, the outer longer than the inner; stamens 6, about half as long as the perianth; capsule subulate, 3-sided, 1-celled, its beak ¥'-¥' long, exceeding the perianth and holding the valves together throughout dehiscence; seed 1/5'-1/4" in length, oblong, acute at both ends, reticulate in about 20 longitudinal rows, the areolae finely cross-lined.
Wet soil, Massachusetts to Ontario, Saskatchewan, Washington, Alabama, Texas and Arizona.
Stems 2o'-4o' high, stout, erect, 1 1/4" in thickness, slightly roughened; basal leaves few, the uppermost, like the cauline, with inconspicuously articulate sheaths and long erect terete roughened blades; inflorescence 1'-4' high, with spreading branches, its lowest bract with a small blade sometimes 1 1/2' long; heads 2-5-flow-ered; perianth 2"-2i" long, the parts lanceolate-acuminate, stiff, green, striate, the inner longer than the outer; stamens 6, about half as long as the perianth; filaments about equalling the anthers; style and stigmas long; capsule lanceolate-oblong, 3-sided, mucronate-acuminate, incompletely 3-celled; seed tailed at both ends, altogether about 1" long, the body about 3" long, closely striate, almost devoid of transverse lines.
Sandy swamps of southern New Jersey.
Juncus brachycarpus Engelm. Trans. St. Louis Acad. 2: 467. 1868.
Rootstocks bearing 1-6 stems; stems erect, 8'-36' high, terete, 1-4-leaved; blades terete, 1" thick or less, seldom exceeding 6' in length, the upper much shorter; inflorescence sometimes 4' high and with 20 spherical heads, or smaller and even reduced to a single head; perianth 1 1/2"-2" long, its parts subulate, the inner about three-fourths as long as the outer; stamens 3, about half as long as the perianth; capsule one-half to two-thirds as long as the perianth, oblong, acute, mucronate, 1-celled, dehiscent through the tip; seed oblong, acute at both ends, about 1/5" long, reticulate in about 18 longitudinal rows, the areolae smooth and nearly square.
Southern Ontario, through the Mississippi Valley to Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi; also from Massachusetts to Georgia.